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Full text of "MY RANDOM MUSINGS"

MY RANDOM MUSINGS 



By 

Engr. Aung Kyaw Thein 

Director 

Consolidated Services Ltd. 

Dhaka 

Bangladesh 



email: thein@csldhaka.com 

theinamav@vahoo.com 
mobile phone: +88 01713 206308 



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I AM BORN WITH THE OBLIGATION TO DO HONOUR TO MY 
PARENTS, MY FOREFATHERS, MY SOCIETY, MY RACE AND 
MY COUNTRY; AND I HAVE THE RIGHT OF LIBERTY TO DO SO. 
I AM BORN WITH NO OTHER RIGHTS. 



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LIVING BEYOND MEANS 

Mr. Husband and Mrs. Wife were a couple running, like any other couple, the affairs of their 
family by mutual consent (One Party System). They have five children; Master Twelve, 
Master Ten, Miss Eight, Miss Seven & Master Four. Husband and Wife both work and earn 
reasonable amounts; Husband is working as a bank officer and Wife as a marketing 
executive in a small private company. The children all go to school. The family finances were 
within their income. 

Wife becomes conscious that Husband is having more say in running the house and so she 
protests. After a week of arguing and sulking they both decide that the one voted by the 
children will run the family for a term of one year to be followed by voting for the next term 
(Multi-Party Democracy). The children were consulted and each of them saw opportunities 
for themselves. So many things the rich kids had which they din't - cannot even dream of - 
will now become real for them. 

Husband and Wife now turn their attention to the children for getting their vote. They started 
by appealing to their sense of devotion and followed by various reasons why he or she is the 
best person to run the house. The children came up with various needs. Twelve and Ten 
wanted cycle and a laptops. Eight and Seven wanted new fancy dresses and make-ups and 
perfumes whilst Four wanted expensive toys. Husband and Wife promised all the children 
asked for. Using guile and extra promises Wife won the first voting. Having won the right to 
run the house Wife started to fulfill the promises made to the children. Meantime prices of 
essentials went up and she found she could not manage to give all she had promised to the 
children within their family income. Now she brooded for some days and said to herself 
"what the heck! I'll borrow from banks and from my parents". So she borrowed from bank at 
the going interest rate and from her parents at interest free. Still she could not give all she 
promised and Ten, Eight &Seven were unhappy. 

At the end of the year Husband, having lost the last time, was more liberal with his promises. 
The children, possessing instinctive intellect, lost no time assessing the situation and their 
demands increased. Eight was not happy to share a room with Seven and demanded 
separate rooms. Twelve and Ten had their own demands. Four more expensive toys, those 
he had seen in his richer friends' houses. This time around Wife's guile and promises fell 
short and Husband was voted to run the house. He has to change to a bigger house, to 
accommodate Eight and Seven separately, and found the family's income short. He brooded 
for some time and after awhile said to himself 'Til borrow from bank and my own parents". 
So he borrowed but still fell short of meeting all the promises he had made. This time Twelve 
and Seven were unhappy. 

At the end of that year Husband and Wife again lost no time in appealing to the children. 
Now Twelve, who was sharing a room with Ten, was unhappy and he wanted a separate 
room. Twelve, Ten, Eight & Seven wanted each wanted a television to themselves. Four 
now wanted a bicycle. Wife, having learnt from her last year's mistake, promises much more 
and is voted to run the house. Now the demands were more expensive, and what with rise in 
gasoline prices, etc. she fell well short. So the borrowing from bank and her parents became 
unavoidable and so she borrowed amounts bigger than before. 

This system has been continuing for last ten years, at the end of which - new large house, 
expensive cars, etc. - Husband and Wife find that the family owed 85% of their annual 
income to the banks (external debt) and 70% of their annual earnings to their parents (public 
debt). This year Wife has been voted to run the house and the demands have multiplied. 

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So you think now I am kidding! People cannot be that foolish! 

Am I? 

Look up "list of countries by external debt" and "list of countries by public debt" in Google. 



COUNTRIE 
S 


GDP In Trillion 
$ 


EXTERNAL DEBT 


PUBLIC DEBT 






%of 
GDP 


Amount in Trillion 
$ 


%of 
GDP 


Amount in Trillion $ 


USA 


15.72 


99.00 


15.57 


94.36 


14.83 


EU 
Countries 


16.22 


85.00 


13.79 


83.31 


13.51 



Greece has just gone bust. It's GDP, external and public debts were (in Billion $) 305, 532 & 
348 respectively. 

Greece is not alone! Ireland, Spain, Portugal & Italy will be following soon. 

Recently a renowned economist from Germany aptly summed up the cause of the crisis : 
THESE COUNTRIES HAVE LIVED BEYOND THEIR MEANS. 

LIVING BEYOND MEANS - PART 2 

The table below shows the financial statistics of the western countries (multi-party 
democracies). 



COUNTRY 


GDP in Billions 


FOREX in 
Billion $ 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT in Billion $ 


PUBLIC DEBT 
in Billion $ 


EU Countries 


16,242 


925 


13,720 


12,993 


USA 


14,526 


146 


15,571 


13,706 


Germany 


3,286 


263 


4,713 


2,758 


France 


2,562 


185 


4,698 


2,109 


UK 


2,250 


124 


8,981 


1,699 


Italy 


2,055 


187 


2.223 


2,445 


Spain 


1,410 


49 


2,166 


846 


Netherlands 


780 


56 


2,344 


496 


Poland 


469 


100 


253 


258 


Belgium 


468 


31 


1,241 


454 


Sweden 


459 


50 


853 


184 


Greece 


305 


7 


533 


435 


Portugal 


229 


24 


497 


213 


Ireland 


207 


2 


2,378 


197 



(source : Wikipedia & CIA fact book) 

Like Husband and Wife after ten years of multi-party democracy practice, all the above 
countries are heavily in debt - debt to other countries and debt to their own citizens. THEY 
HAVE BEEN LIVING BEYOND THEIR MEANS! 

How will these countries ever achieve a balance of FOREX with their External Debt? Not to 
speak of paying back the money borrowed from their own citizens! 



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theinamay@yahoo.com 



Over the many years none of these countries have ever been able to give a balanced 
budget; i.e., expenditure equal to income and trade balance. Deficit budgeting has been the 
norm. 

Countries like China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and other developing 
countries have taken over many of the fields of production these countries held monopolies 
until recently. Forty years back nobody believed that the developing countries could ever 
build a car even! Textile sector where once European countries - especially Italy, Portugal, 
Belgium, Netherlands - dominated, have gone from them forever. Korea, China, India and 
Brazil are challenging them in technological products. Production of cars, computers, chips, 
mobile, industrial machinery, high-tech process equipments, electronic equipments, etc. 
have shifted to the east. Clothing is now produced entirely by the eastern countries. 
Technology is no longer a stranger to Asian, African and Latin American countries. High 
technology process plants, critical equipment for petrochemical and fertilizer plants, large 
civil constructions (bridges, sky-scrapers) and electronic equipment are no longer the 
exclusive fields of the western countries. Korean, Chinese and Indian companies are 
competing with the western companies for high value prestigious projects in the middle-east. 
The IT sector in India has developed to the extent that, to remain competitive, western 
companies are obliged to outsource IT services from Indian companies like TCS, Infosys & 
Wipro. The turnover in outsourcing fetches India US$ 78 billion. Samsung of Korea is 
competing with the best from the western world in mobile phones, semi-conductors and 
electronics. 

How then will these countries ever pay their external debts and achieve trade balance and 
balanced budget! One set of politicians and economists (the least trust-worthy people in the 
world) tell us that the answer is to cut taxes to fuel growth whilst another set of politicians 
and economists say just the opposite. There is no economic or financial answer. 

Let us look back into history. From the 17"^ to early 20"^century the western countries 
conquered, by force or by treachery & guile, and colonized countries in Asia and Africa. They 
had all the resources (oil, gas & raw materials) of these colonized countries for their taking 
peanut prices. Industries sprung up in Europe to process the raw resources taken from 
colonized countries into products which were then exported to those same countries from 
where the raw materials came at thousand-fold prices. Indians were forbidden to produce 
and consume salt that was there from the sea. Bengal produced all the jute of the world and 
Lancashire became the capital of jute! In America the European settlers killed the native 
people and claimed their land with all its resources. They raided African countries and 
enslaved the people and brought them to America to do work on the cotton fields at no 
charge. History is replete with atrocities committed by these western countries to gain control 
of the world's resources. 

After the end of World War II the western countries were obliged to give up their colonies. 
Resources of these countries were no longer available for their taking. Excepting, of course, 
USA where there were no longer sufficient numbers of the native peoples left alive. USA still 
had all the resources of North America for themselves. Then again USA's coffers were filled 
with the gold brought over by the Jews, and also non-Jews, from Europe during the course 
of the war in Europe. By early nineties Europe and USA had grown to become large 
industrialized nations with strong economies. Industrial trade organizations, that served their 
purpose, were imposed on the whole world. Thus from early nineties till late nineties the 
western countries enjoyed monopoly in international trade. But when OPEC was formed and 
oil & gas rich countries started to nationalize these resources the economies of the western 
world start to hurt. Meantime other countries - led by Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Brazil and 
to a lesser degree by Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Latin countries - had been working 

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hard to industrialize and gain a fairer siiare of tine international trade. Today the tide has 
turned. 

So how will the western countries recover their lost glory, prosperity & power? Answer : 
GAIN CONTROL OF THE WORLDS RESOURCES AGAIN - BY HOOK OR BY CROOK! 

What are the factors and means to achieve this? The factors they are looking forward are 
the following: 

1 . Technological superiority 

2. Media propaganda. 

3. Puppet governments. 

4. Internet 

5. Religion. 

6. Internal strife. 

7. Illusion of the younger generation. 

8. Currency manipulation. 

9. Organizations like United Nations, WTO, etc. 

Technological superiority 

No one can doubt the western worlds' superiority in technology. These countries will 
continue producing people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. who will dominate the IT world. 
But the contribution of technological inventions and innovations will decline in respect to 
GDP. Technological superiority will go some way, but not the whole way to solve their 
financial inequities. 

Media Propaganda 

Media is a very powerful weapon to influence peoples' perspectives. The western countries 
have always used the media to propagate news and idea to their benefit. Few days back I 
was listening to a discussion on BBC and the topic was on the European financial crisis and 
its impact on China. The analyst while giving his expert opinion elaborated that China's 
growth would likely to slow down from previous nine percent to perhaps below eight percent 
and that the middle and lower class people could be affected. The moderator of the program 
then had the cheek to very slyly suggest whether this would lead to an uprising amongst the 
people. All the western media have always played on the listeners' minds. Countries, which 
the western countries do not like, are accused of violating human rights. But did you know 
that UK is preparing to pass into law where the government would monitor all your emails, 
telephone calls, etc? If China did that the whole western media would have taken up arms 
and indicted China for violating human liberties! Who has given the right for western 
countries to claim "international calls, international community" to endorse their position? 

Puppet governments 

Few countries today are not influenced by the western world. However some countries like 
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are entirely dependent. These countries buy billions of dollars 
worth of weapons and take up fantasy projects worth another billions of dollars where the 
chief financial beneficiaries are the western world. They have threatened Syria, an Islamic 
country like themselves, to give with financial and armed assistance to the opposition, a 
group of mercenaries promoted by the west. 



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Internet 

Internet is the most powerful tool by which the western world is influencing the minds of the 
peoples of the other countries. Facebook, twitter, blogging and its like, are hijacking the 
minds of the younger generations to the western way of thinking. 

Religion & Race 

Religion is has always been used by the western countries to subdue other people and 
countries and lands. The pilgrim fathers sailed to America and indulged in genocide that led 
almost to the extinction of the native American people. They went to Australia and took away 
the lands from the aborigines. Till today the Australian constitution says that an aborigine is 
not fit and therefore not entitled to own land. Wherever the white conquerors went so too 
Christian priests and they took the natives lands in exchange for the bible! 

The middle east, with all its vast resources of oil & gas, is of immense interest to the western 
countries. Whoever controls this area controls the energy supply to the world. Today USA 
and the UK are using the divide in Muslim religion in Sunni and Shia sects for them to 
become the masters of this area. They have already divided Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurds 
and this country will always be in perpetual strife with USA as the puppeteer pulling the 
strings. The oil & gas resources are, of course, under their control. Now Syria, where the 
population is largely Sunni but ruled by Shia, is the target and their puppets, Saudi Arabia 
and UAE are their collaborators. If they succeed then the whole region, including Lebanon, 
will be fighting sectarian wars. Iran cannot be allowed to possess nuclear arms, even though 
Israel has so, because then it will become a regional power. In that case Saudi Arabia and 
UAE will have to bow to their strength and the western countries hold on the regions 
resources will be constrained. 

Whilst the western world is fighting so called Islamic terrorism they are using Islamic 
extremist minorities in other countries to ferment insurgencies. In China the Muslims in 
Xinjiang are encouraged to call for a separate state. Christians in China are encouraged and 
helped to become dissidents. Buddhists in Tibet are encouraged to call for freedom of Tibet. 
In all these cases The western world are covertly giving helping hand. They are supporting 
terrorists in the Philippines, Thailand & Myanmar. 

The western countries imposing Religious politics is of particular significance. This is the 
richest region in terms of oil & gas. Iran is an obstacle and the western countries can never 
gain complete control of the region if Iran has nuclear power. A nuclear-armed Iran would be 
different proposition to conquer than Iraq. The reason given by them for banning Iran from 
having nuclear arms is that nuclear arms in Iran's hands would be dangerous to the region; 
implying Iran would not hesitate to use it on its neighbors to subdue the whole region. Then 
there are the paranoid Jews! I beseech your patience to digress a bit here. 

Who fought two world wars? 

Who enslaved people of other countries? 

Who introduce apartheid? 

Who annihilated (committed genocide) on the American natives? 

Who caused the famine in 1877-78 in India when "at the pain of imprisonment private 

relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain price" 

Who massacred thousands of people in the Sepoy Mutiny? 

Remember the Calcutta "Black Hole"? 

Who forbade from aborigines from owning land in their own country? 

Who perpetuated the "holocaust"? 

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• Who fought the "Opium War" to allow the Chinese to consume opium to their full? 
Why forbid cocaine and other drugs from free trade now? 

• Who called Gandhiji "half naked fakir"? 

The list of atrocities and forced occupations by these western countries goes on and on. 
Remember the present white generation are progenies of the barbarians who committed all 
the crimes above and much, much more. 

Internal Strife 

Whenever and wherever there is an internal strife in a country the western world have never 
been shy from supporting one the other of the parties where its interest is more. 

Currency Manipulation 

The US dollar has been, still is and will remain so for a long time, the currency of 
international trade. USA has never been shy to use this strength in international trade to 
manipulate the exchange rates to its favour. USA has the power to print more dollars which 
is officially the international trading currency! 

Organizations like UN & WTO 

These organizations are puppets who echo the master's voice. The western countries have 
always used these organizations to serve their purpose all of the time. Who or what authority 
has the UN to say what countries can have or cannot have such and such weapons? Who 
gave the UN to sanctify all the atrocities committed by the western countries. Where was UN 
when the western countries attacked and captured Iraq. That wasn't a war. A war is fought 
between two countries with similar armed strength! Boon Kim Moon is merely a puppet 
singing to western tunes. 



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AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE 

At every opportunity American politicians: senators, presidents and aspiring presidential 
candidates; allude to "The American Way of Life". It is understood that this refers to a nationalistic 
ethos that purports to adhere to the principles of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness". 

LIFE 

This presumably signifies respect for human life. Before Columbus discovered(?) America 
in 1492 and white settlers started migrating from Europe to America in 1600, the population 
of the peoples then inhabiting America is estimated to be from 50 to 100 million. Today this 
number has been reduced to 2.5 million in USA, 1.5 million in Canada, 10 million in Mexico 
and around 43 million in South America; a total of 48 millions. What happened to the native 
population then? The Pope then decreed that the natives were animals without souls and 
could be hunted and killed like animals; and the whites did exactly that with relish and 
pleasure. So much to white America's respect for natives lives. 

On 6"^ August 1945, when the Japanese troops were in full retreat and the fall of Japan was 
imminent, America dropped the first ever atom bomb in Hiroshima killing thousands of 
Japanese civilians and maiming many more others for life; the effects still carried over to 
their children. Remember, this atom bomb had never been tested and the extent of the 
damages it would cause still unknown. This bomb could have wiped Japan off the map! The 
American rational was that it would hasten the Japanese surrender, thereby saving 
American soldiers. Bravo, the Americans do care for the lives of the American whites. 
Three days later, on 9'^ August 1945 America dropped the second atom bomb on the 
Japanese city of Nagasaki, to force Japan to surrender immediately to America rather than 
surrender to Russia whose troops were closing in on Japan from the north. So much to 
white America's respect for Japanese lives. 

During the Vietnam war America resorted to chemical warfare and dropped thousands of 
tons of Napalm and Agent Orange. Recall the photograph of the little naked Vietnamese girl 
running with her back on fire from Napalm? So much to white America's respect for 
Vietnamese lives. 

White America's respect for human lives in Afghanistan and Iraq has been rubbished in 
Wikileaks. Today white America is pursuing and killing so-labeled Talibans with their drones 
like animals. So much to white America's respect for Muslim lives. 

LIBERTY 

Oh yes! White Americans love liberty. They love the liberty that permitted them to kill the 
natives, Japanese, Vietnamese and Muslims. 

America loves its citizens so much, that to protect their liberty they put other citizens in jail. 
America tops the world rankings in prisoners per capita at 715 persons per 100,000 
persons. Compare that with totalitarian China at 1 19 persons per 100,000 persons. 

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS 

Disaster! USA ranks 105 in the world's happiest countries rankings. 

Oh yes! Americans pursue happiness so much that it has the highest per capita gays and 

lesbians at 3.5%. 

GOD BLESS AMERICA FOR SHE NEEDS YOUR BLESSINGS THE MOST. 

9 I 92 P a g e 



PEACE IN THE HUMAN WORLD 



Human beings, as man that we call today, allegedly walked out of Africa some 50,000 years 
ago in three different times. Today scientists refer to them as caucasoids, mongoloids and 
negroids. 

There is no record to know how these few men evolved through these 50,000 years to the 
civilization that we know today. 

However, considered from macro aspect, we can take a rough guess. 

50,000 years ago these men must have lived in tiny communities as they fanned out across 
the world. Survival would have been extremely challenging; competing against animal and 
nature. Many aspects of nature: sun, moon, lightning, thunder, rain, etc. Would have 
perplexed their mind. Their brains would have been small and they would not have the 
language to co-relate the mental functions of the brain. They would have relied on intuition, 
rather than intelligence. 

Over the years the communities would have grown larger and there would be people who 
would contend to interprete nature; medicine man, shaman, witch doctor, healers and 
spiritual leaders. When the community has tiny each head of the family would fend for his 
family. But as communities grew in size there would be need to have community leadership. 
The type of such leadership would be individual leader or elder leaders taking decisions. 

During this sojourn of thousands of years the environment they survived would have had 
profound effect on their structure, colourand on their nervous system. 

I would refer the reader to look up in the internet this journey of our ancestors: 

www.timemaps.com/history/ 

www.timemaps.com/historv/europe 

www.timemaps.com/historv/south-asia 

www.timemaps.com/historv/east-asia 

www.timemaps.com/history/middle-east 

www.timemaps.com/historv/africa 

www.timemaps.com/history/south-east-asia 

www.timemaps.com/historv/oceania 

www.timemaps.com/historv/south-america 

www.timemaps.com/historv/north-america 

A journey into the history of mankind tells us that there has been an intermingling, mixing, 
fusion and integration of social cultures; from the tiny community to the present national 
cultures. Within every nation there has been this intermingling, mixing, fusion and integration 
of the first cultures from the tiny communities to present nations and regions. In some 
nations the individual cultures have totally disappeared whilst in others they are still 
prominent. Even today there exists hundreds of communities clinging to their ancestral 
cultures and traditions; we designate them as indigenous or tribals. 

Neuro-anthropologists tell us that our brain and nervous system are our cultural organs. 
While virtually all parts of the body, skeleton, muscles, joints bear the stamp of our 
behavioral variety, our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain 
disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and disproportionately susceptible to 

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culture sculpturing. Our first year of life finds our brain developing as if in utero, immersed in 
language, social interaction. This immersion means that our ideas about ourselves and how 
we want to raise our children affect the environmental niche in our nervous system unfolds, 
influencing gene expression and development processes to the cellular level. 

Neuroscientists are finding evidence of functional differences in brain activity and 
architecture between cultural groups, occupations, and individuals with different skill sets. 

Neuro-anthropologists and a neuroscientists both tell us that a man becomes a person that 
he is by growing up in particular community, learning to speak the language, and to 
participate the life in the community. There must be some community for him to grow up in, if 
he is to become a person and a human being at all. The community he grows up makes an 
important difference. If his native community had been different, in all important respects he 
would be a different person from the one he has in fact become. So would many of the 
ideas, beliefs and values in terms of which he has been brought up to think and act. He is 
always a product of some social and cultural heritage. Different traditions and cultures and 
civilizations are different ways of being a human being. 

With such a variation of cultures, both within a nation and with other nations, there is bound 
to be conflicts arising out of our different cultural heritages. 

Not all of today's nations are evolved from same cultural identities. Many European nations 
are; but national boundaries in Africa and Asia were imposed upon them by their former 
colonial masters. Africa is a pitiable example where the whites categorized all blacks as 
same and formed the boundary lines of these nations in Africa on longitudinal and latitudinal 
lines! 

The concept of an integrated single national culture is forlorn dream. Rather, such attempts 
result in un-culturing human beings; thereby undoing the knot that our human culture has 
sewn the fabric of our society - sundering the human bondage. We all agree that big cities 
dehumanize persons. The person no longer grows within a society; rather he grows within 
the confines of his apartment. Play-groups, kindergartens and schools are no substitutes; for 
here the stress is more on discipline and less on culture. An uncultured man does not belong 
to any society; he is likely to be self-seeking. Very often i here people of substance calling 
for "bridging the cultural divide". Although it is usually said in a positive and well-meaning 
sense, it is "non-sense". The cultural divide is the divide of our mental functions (to which we 
have no control; a human being is the product of his mind and not the other way around). 
The same message can be expressed as "appreciation and tolerance of another's culture: 
his beliefs, values, etc. 

India and Pakistan were divided on religious lines; for north east India the differing races and 
cultures were totally ignored. The seven sisters in the north east were integrated with India 
on the basis of administrative consideration. 

The present civilization is based on capitalism and to sustain capitalism each country's 
economy must grow at the rate of minimum two percent; otherwise capitalism cannot be 
sustained. So nations must compete with other nations for the resources and markets. 
Energy is the one most vital element for a country's growth; but energy is not distributed 
uniformly country-wise. Oil is concentrated in the middle east and gas in Russia; with coal 
more evenly distributed. With oil and coal reserves predicted to finish within forty and sixty 
years respectively by knowledgeable sources, the competition is becoming bitter by the day. 
The two percent annual growth that we have set for ourselves is ticking like the sword of 
Damocles; it can neither be stopped nor reversed. 



11 I 92 P a g e 



Religion has not been an answer to liuman integration and peace. 

Are the countries that possess nuclear arms trust-worthy? Remember united states of 
America dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima on 6"^ of august 1945, risking killing of 
thousands of civilians (at that time the atom bomb was untested and its power to kill still 
unknown) allegedly to save the lives of many American soldiers. Then the United States of 
America dropped the second atom bomb three days later on 9"^ august 1945 so Japan would 
need to surrender to America rather than to Russia whose troops were closing in on Japan 
from the North. 

America celebrates its every successful space mission and the whole world applauds. Will 
mars be our second world when we have devastated this world, our earth? 

Mr. Raylenesingh, a senior larrakia elder, the traditional aborigines of Australia wrote: 

"I am strong in my culture - the way I was taught by my mother and by my father and 
my grandmother and grandfather. We traditional owners know this land and how to 
look after it and we know what our country wants; and everything that lives - our 
people, the fish, the birds, the animals, insects, plants and landscape have to be 
looked after". 



12 I 92 P a g e 



HOMAGE TO THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD 

It is 00.01 hours the 25'^ of November 2012 and it is my 73"^ birthday. Today, the 25'^ of 
November 2012 is also the 38"^ death anniversary of former UN Secretary General U Thant 
who served as General Secretary of the UN from 1961 to 1971 . 

I owe to U Thant, a self-effacing and honorable gentleman from Myanmar, that I am alive 
today to celebrate my 73"^ birthday. So does all living persons of the world. 

On 27"^ October 1 962 the world averted a near nuclear holocaust that could have destroyed 
our world, thanks to this gentleman. On that day United States of America and the Soviet 
Union were on the verge of pressing their respective nuclear arsenal buttons. "Nuclear 

catastrophe was hanging by a thread And we weren't counting days, or hours, but 

minutes" recounts Soviet General and Army Chief of Operations. The crisis began on 22"^ 
October 1962 when President Kennedy announced the discovery of Soviet missiles 
installations in Cuba and declared a quarantine of the island. The tension between the two 
countries and, by default, between President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev, rose to a 
boiling point in the following few days. It was then, at that point, that U Thant stepped in, as 
the General Secretary of the UN, and actively mediated between the Kennedy and 
Khrushchev. Shortly after the blockade took effect October 24, when a naval conflict and an 
escalation to general war seemed likely, Thant took his first initiative. He successfully 
appealed to Kennedy and Khrushchev to allow time to resolve the crisis peacefully. This 
breathing space proved critical in allowing both leaders to face down their hardliners. 
Khrushchev turned back many of his ships, but kept others steaming to Cuba so as not to 
appear to back down entirely. Thant's initiative then prompted Kennedy to ask Thant to 
follow up with a more detailed appeal to Khrushchev to keep his ships away "for a limited 
time" so an agreement could be worked out. 

Thant sent this second appeal as his own proposal so it would not appear as an American 
initiative. Coming as a request for moderation from the UN Secretary-General rather than as 
a demand from his adversary, Khrushchev readily accepted the proposal and used it to save 
face while keeping his remaining ships away. US Ambassador to the UN Adiai Stevenson 
later described Thant's action to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "At a critical 
moment - when the nuclear powers seemed set on a collision course - the Secretary- 
General's intervention led to the diversion of the Soviet ships headed for Cuba and 
interception by our Navy. This was the indispensable first step in the peaceful resolution of 
the Cuban crisis." Thant's went on to assist the parties deal with the two main issues of the 
conflict, namely the missiles in Cuba and Cuba's security concerns. 

As is the case of politics, the two adversaries, Kennedy and Khrushchev were credited with 
averting this nuclear holocaust. U Thant's name appears nowhere in later official reports on 
the crisis. 

U Thant died on 25'^ of November in 1974. 



13 I 92 P a g e 



HUMAN RIGHTS 

Today the idea of human rights is paramount in world politics. 

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 
UDHR) was proclaimed in a resolution of the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 
as the "common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations". 

Human rights is a complex issue, as complex as the human mind, that need to take into 
account the diversity of human races, the varying traditional cultures, civilizations and 
beliefs. One would have to study the anthropology of the different races of humankind to get 
an understanding of the many traditional cultures, beliefs and philosophy of the many 
societies, communities and countries that comprise today's mankind. This is a vast subject 
left to the students of this discipline. 

A man becomes the person and human being that he is by growing up in a particular 
community, learning to speak the language, and to participate in the life of the community. 
There must be some community for him to grow up in, if he is to become the person and, in 
more than purely zoological sense, a human being at all. The community he grows up 
makes an important difference. If his native community had been different, in all important 
respects he would be a different person from the one he has in fact become. So would many 
of the ideas, beliefs and values in terms of which he has been brought up to think and to act. 
He is always a product o^ some social and cultural melieu. Different traditions and cultures 
and civilizations are different ways of being human. 

The idea of Human Rights which the authors of Universal Declaration of Human Rights had 
in mind was that of an ideal standard which every human community should try to teach. 
This and other Western Conventions make use of the idea of human rights, but in none of 
them is it analyzed and critically examined. The UDHR and other Western Conventions 
embody the values and institutions of modern liberal-democratic industrial society. This is 
not surprising, since their aims were practical and political, nor academic nor philosophical. 
Their authors assumed that the idea was straightforward. 

But the majority of humanity do not live in such societies. Unfortunately this has been 
ignored by the authors. To many developing countries many of the rights set forth in the 
Declaration, despite its claim to universality, are simply irrelevant. 

There is another objection to equating human rights with liberal-democratic and modern 
social-welfare rights. The particular values and institutions which these embody have their 
roots in the Western tradition of culture and civilization. But the Western is only one of a 
number of such cultures. Islamic, Hindu and the Buddhist cultures; each based upon great 
religions. Western civilization may be pre-eminent in science and technology, and in industry 
and commerce. But that does not justify erecting certain of its values, beliefs and institutions, 
with their associated rights, into a universal standard. West may be best for westerners; but 
to assume that it must be so for all humanity is arogancy. Such an ideal, with its constitutive 
values, beliefs and institutions, must, if it is to be coherent, be drawn from particular 
traditions of culture, belief and civilizations. Those who belong to different culture, beliefs 
and civilization have no reason to accept it. 

14 I 92 P a g e 



It follows that human rights which belonged to all human beings at all times and in all places 
would be rights which they have as "de-socialized' and "de-culturized" beings. Since they are 
not, and cannot be such beings, there cannot be universal human rights. 

Extract from: HUMAN RIGHTS and HUMAN DIVERSITY 

An essay in the PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS by A.J.M. Milne (1986) 



15 I 92 P a g e 



UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS - A CRITIQUE 

Today the idea of human rights is paramount in world politics. 

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 
UDHR) was proclaimed in a resolution of the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 
as the "common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations". 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) errs on two accounts: 

1. Not taking into the diversity of human race and the varying traditional cultures, 
civilizations and beliefs. 

2. Not distinguishing the two components of Human Rights : Liberty Rights and Claim 
Rights. 

DIVERSITY OF HUMAN RACE 

Human rights is a complex issue, as complex as the human mind, that need to take into 
account the diversity of human races, the varying traditional cultures, civilizations and 
beliefs. One would have to study the anthropology of the different races of humankind to get 
an understanding of the many traditional cultures, beliefs and philosophy of the many 
societies, communities and countries that comprise today's mankind. This is a vast subject 
left to the students of this discipline. 

A man becomes the person and human being that he is by growing up in a particular 
community, learning to speak the language, and to participate in the life of the community. 
There must be some community for him to grow up in, if he is to become the person and, in 
more than purely zoological sense, a human being at all. The community he grows up 
makes an important difference. If his native community had been different, in all important 
respects he would be a different person from the one he has in fact become. So would many 
of the ideas, beliefs and values in terms of which he has been brought up to think and to act. 
He is always a product o^ some social and cultural melieu. Different traditions and cultures 
and civilizations are different ways of being human. 

The idea of Human Rights which the authors of Universal Declaration of Human Rights had 
in mind was that of an ideal standard which every human community should try to teach. 
This and other Western Conventions make use of the idea of human rights, but in none of 
them is it analyzed and critically examined. The UDHR and other Western Conventions 
embody the values and institutions of modern liberal-democratic industrial society. This is 
not surprising, since their aims were practical and political, nor academic nor philosophical. 
Their authors assumed that the idea was straightforward. 

But the majority of humanity do not live in such societies. Unfortunately this has been 
ignored by the authors. To many developing countries many of the rights set forth in the 
Declaration, despite its claim to universality, are simply irrelevant. 

There is another objection to equating human rights with liberal-democratic and modern 
social-welfare rights. The particular values and institutions which these embody have their 
roots in the Western tradition of culture and civilization. But the Western is only one of a 
number of such cultures. Islamic, Hindu and the Buddhist cultures; each based upon great 

16 I 92 P a g e 



religions. Western civilization may be pre-eminent in science and technology, and in industry 
and commerce. But that does not justify erecting certain of its values, beliefs and institutions, 
with their associated rights, into a universal standard. West may be best for westerners; but 
to assume that it must be so for all humanity is arrogancy. Such an ideal, with its constitutive 
values, beliefs and institutions, must, if it is to be coherent, be drawn from particular 
traditions of culture, belief and civilizations. Those who belong to different culture, beliefs 
and civilization have no reason to accept it. 

It follows that human rights which belonged to all human beings at all times and in all places 
would be rights which they have as "de-socialized' and "de-culturized" beings. Since they are 
not, and cannot be such beings, there cannot be universal human rights. 

Extract from: HUMAN RIGHTS and HUMAN DIVERSITY 

An essay in the PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS by A.J.M. Milne (1986) 

LIBERTY RIGHTS AND CLAIM RIGHTS 

The struggle for liberty rights dates back from the earliest known civilizationstill modern times 
when men and women struggled for liberty. A liberty right is a right which does not entail 
obligations on other parties, but rather only freedom or permission for the right holder. 
Through ages liberty rights has evolved during successive civilizations to conform to 
prevailing traditional and social cultures and practices, economic and political conditions of 
the concerned country. The eastern civilization places the harmony of society over individual 
liberty rights. 

Alongside the liberty rights the claim rights also goes back to the cultures and communities. 
A claim right is a right which entails responsibilities, duties or obligations on other parties 
regarding the right holder. Like the individual has liberty right, society has a claims right to 
preserve traditional culture and to maintain harmony in the society. 

Liberty rights and claim rights are the inverse of one another; a person has a liberty right 
permitting him to do something only if there is no other person who has a claim right 
forbidding the liberty right-holder from doing so; and likewise, if a person has a claim right 
against someone else, that other person's liberty is thus limited. Thus invoking a claim right 
limits the liberty right of the other party; and vice-versa. 



Now let us examine the articles of the UDHR: 

Article 1. 

• All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed 
with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of 
brotherhood. 

Conscience is a religious concept, particularly Christian religion. Today the population of the 
world comprises of: 



Christians 


: 35% 


Muslims 


: 23% 


Hindus 


:14% 



17 I 92 P a g e 



Buddhists : 06% 
Others : 22% 

(source : Wikipedia) 

I do not know enough about Islam and Hinduism to comment their religious stance regarding 
conscience. Buddhists and others definitely do not subscribe to "endowed with conscience". 
The proclamation claiming "universal" errs on this account. 

Article 2. 

• Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without 
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other 
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no 
distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international 
status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be 
independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. 

Not to all those rights which are set forth in UDHR 

The second part gives legal jurisdiction of the UN over all sovereign and non-sovereign 
countries of the world. This does not take into account the various traditional cultures and 
values of communities and societies that have evolved since the beginning of mankind. The 
UDHR embodies the values and institutions of modern liberal-democratic industrial society. 
This is not surprising, since their aims were practical and political, nor academic nor 
philosophical. Their authors assumed that the idea was straightforward. 

Article 3. 

• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. 
No argument. 

Article 4. 

• No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be 
prohibited in all their forms. 

The Dutch brought in the first ship load of slaves forcibly captured from African countries and 
introduced slavery in North America in 1619. This was followed by millions of Africans 
captured from their countries and brought to America to serve as slaves to the white. It was 
not until the 13"" Amendment to the Constitution in 1865 that slavery was prohibited by law; 
240 years of trade in slavery, (see "slavery in America" in Google 
www.slaveryinamerica.org/historv/hs es overview.htm ) What is the white man talking about 
in this article! Only 150 years back their forefathers saw it right to enslave other human 
beings. A few generations (1 50 years) do not wipe out the genetics the present generation of 
American whites. 

The government and people of America owe an unconditional apology to all afro-Americans 
and the countries from where slaves were forcibly captured from. Until such an apology is 
forthcoming this article is a mockery to human intelligence. 



18 I 92 P a g e 



Article 5. 

• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or 
punishment. 

The torture, inhuman and degrading treatment meted out to the hundreds of Afghan and 
Iraqi detainees in Guantanamo Bay, held without trial, makes nonsense of this article 

Article 6. 

• Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. 

"In the first few decades since 1492 (when Columbus landed in the Americas), it was thought 
that the Indians did not have souls because they were "animals" in human form. Therefore it 
was believed that they could be hunted down like animals. It was only in 1530 that the Pope 
declared that the Indians were human." (freetruth.50webs.org/A4a.htm). 

The government and the people of America owe an unconditional apology to the Indians of 
America; until such an apology is forthcomingthis article is a mockery to human intelligence. 

Today the Americans are hunting down those whom they believe to belong to Al-Qaeda like 
animals simply because they oppose American imperialism. Are they not persons before 
law? 

Article 7. 

• All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal 
protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in 
violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. 

What is incitement? Is it not incitement to label such a such country is totalitarian and 
thereby violates human rights and call for its citizens to rise against the government of that 
particular country. 

Article 8. 

• Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for 
acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. 

This is better left to the Constitution of the concerned country 

Article 9. 

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. 
No arguments 

Article 10. 

• Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and 
impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal 
charge against him. 

No arguments 

19 I 92 P a g e 



Article 11. 

• (1 ) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent 
until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the 
guarantees necessary for his defence. 

• (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission 
which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the 
time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one 
that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. 

Hundreds of Afghans (known to be Talibans) have been detained since 2002 in 
Guantanamo Bay without being charged for any penal offences. Bush administration 
asserted that these detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva 
Conventions, manifesting that American law is above International law/conventions/treaties. 
What did these Afghans do to deserve this detention? Is it simply because they were labeled 
as Talibans? What is the fault in being a Taliban and to interpret the Quran as the Talibans 
do? 

This is a toothless article that can be violated by the mighty at their will. 

Article 12. 

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or 
correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the 
right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. 

This is a liberty right. 

.Modern governments are today performing mass surveillance of their citizens. For example 
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has directly stated that "we are approaching a 
genuine surveillance society in the United Sates - a dark future where every move, 
transaction, our every communication is recorded, compiled and stored away, ready to be 
examined and used against us by the authorities whenever they want'. The UK government 
is in the process of legislating law whereby each citizen's phone calls, emails, any and every 
form of communication will be monitored and recorded. Some words like "Mohammed", 
"Islam", "Khan", etc. will immediately draw the attention to the people who monitor and be 
examined. The argument for this mass surveillance is that it is necessary to protect the 
citizens from dangerous groups such as terrorists, criminals, or political subversives and to 
maintain social order. 

Here the right to liberty is violated on account of the need for "social order". 

This substance of this article is relative, like some of the other articles in UDHR, relative and 
should be left to each country's exigency. 

Article 13. 

• (1 ) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders 
of each state. 

• (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to 
his country. 

No argument 



20 I 92 P a g e 



Article 14. 

• (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from 
persecution. 

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from 
non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United 
Nations. 

Who determineswhich acts are"contrary to the purposes and principles of the United 
Nations"? 

Article 15. 

• (1 ) Everyone has the right to a nationality. 

• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to 
change his nationality. 

The right to nationality is determined by each country's constitution and laws. There can be 
no international law on this issue. 

Article 16. 

• (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or 
religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal 
rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. 

• (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending 
spouses. 

• (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to 
protection by society and the State. 

These are socials issue specific to each culture and the liberty right is constrained by 
traditional culture and society. The western white lives as an individual whilst we in the east 
prefer to live in social harmony and society takes preference over the individual. We obey 
our parents and teachers, respect our elders, care for each other and care for the society we 
live in. In other words we live a shared life. If anyone strays from social norms he must be 
restrained. 

Article 17. 



• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with 
others. 

• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. 

Tell this to the Indians of America and the Aboriginals of Australia whose land the white stole 
or took by force. 

Article 18. 

• Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right 
includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in 

21 I 92 P a g e 



community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in 
teaching, practice, worship and observance. 

These issues are peculiar to each religion, culture and society. It cannot be universalized. 

Article 19. 

• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes 
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart 
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 

This is a liberty right and contradicts Article-7 "against any incitement to such discrimination". 

Article 20. 

• (1 ) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. 

• (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association. 

No argument. 
Article 21 . 

• (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or 
through freely chosen representatives. 

• (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. 

• (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will 
shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and 
equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting 
procedures. 

What is the interpretation of "which shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections 
which shall be by universal suffrage". This phrase refers to election in the multi-party 
democratic system of governance and connotes that the Chinese single party system as 
violating international human rights. 

The multi-party democratic system of governance has now proven to be a disaster. 
Countries have lived beyond their means (see "living beyond means newage" in the Google). 
Every European country and USA are heavily in debt (external & public - exceeding the 
countries' respective GDP); and only China and Taiwan have zero debts. Greece is now 
bankrupt; Spain, Ireland and others will follow. UK is in official recession, so too France. 
Only Germany is propping up the Eurozone. Politicians and economists have no answer to 
the problem; some advocate austerity measures whilst yet others advocate the opposite, 
borrow and spend more. 

Regarding the connotation that the Chinese single party system is totalitarian one cannot be 
more wrong to say "crows are white". 

In China functionally, it is a highly bureaucratic, multi-level, single-party republic. Starting at 
the very lowest levels, the Chinese elect a representative to sen/e on a local council. These 
councils elect a representative to the city council, which elects a member to a regional 
council, etc. The current system requires everyone to be a member of the same political 



22 I 92 P a g e 



party. The system can be called communist, however, it is a relatively unique system in 
which an established bureaucracy is interwoven into a republican structure. 

The system has four layers of governing bodies: 

1 . Party Congress with 2,213 delegates 

2. Central Committee with 204 members and 167 alternate members 

3. Politoburo with 25 members 

4. Politoburo Standing Congress with 9 members. 

Members are elected to the Party Congress at the grass-root level through popular voting by 
the citicens of their respective constituencies. Party Congress elects members to the Central 
Committee who in turn elects members to the Politoburo and who finally elects members to 
the Politoburo Standing Committee. 

This system is much maligned by the west. I quote below an extract from a CRS Report to 
the US Congress prepared by Susan V Lawrence and Michael F. Martin. This report is 
designed to provide US Congress with a perspective of the contemporary political system of 
China. 

"Today, although the Party (Chinese Communist Party) is committed to maintaining a 
permanent monopoly on power and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule, 
analysts consider the political system to be neither monolithic nor rigidly hierarchal. 
Jockeying among leaders and institutions representing different sets of interests is common 
at every level of the system. Sometimes fierce competition exists among the members of the 
Communist Party's nine-man Politoburo Standing Committee and 25-member Politoburo, 
China's highest decision-making bodies. It also exists among ministries; between ministries 
and provincial governments, which are equals in bureaucratic rank; among provinces; and 
among the services of the military. The military and the Foreign Ministry are often on 
different pages. Even delegates to the National Peoples' Congress, China's weak 
legislature, sometimes attempt to push back against the government, to courts, and the 
public prosecution office. As part of a trend of very modest political pluralization, moreover, 
other political actors are increasingly able to influence policy debates. Such actors, who may 
join forces to advance particular causes, include an increasingly diverse media, state-owned 
and private corporations, official and quasi-official research institutes, diversity academics, 
officially sponsored associations and societies, and grassroots non-governmental 
organizations" 

Those who may be interested can read the complete version on website 
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41007.pdf 

Article 22. 

• Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to 
realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance 
with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and 
cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his 
personality. 

No argument 



23 I 92 P a g e 



Article 23. 

• (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and 
favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. 

• (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. 

• (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring 
for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if 
necessary, by other means of social protection. 

• (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his 
interests. 

These are a claim rights. Who and which party is responsible and obligated to ensure these 
rights to the right-holder; the society the right-holder lives in, or the country or the world. 

Article 24. 

• Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working 
hours and periodic holidays with pay. 

These are a claim rights. Who and which party is responsible and obligated to ensure these 
rights to the right-holder; the society the right-holder lives in, or the country or the world. 

Article 25. 

• (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well- 
being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care 
and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of 
unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in 
circumstances beyond his control. 

• (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All 
children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. 

These are claim rights peculiar to each country in harmony with its traditional cultures and 
economy. These cannot be universalized. 

Article 26. 

• (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the 
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. 
Technical and 

• equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. 

• (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and 
to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall 
promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious 
groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of 
peace. 

• (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to 
their children. 

These issues are peculiar to each religion, culture and society and cannot be universalized. 



24 I 92 P a g e 



Article 27. 

• (1 ) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to 
enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. 

• (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests 
resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. 

Point 2 refers to intellectual rights. This is treading on a very grey and potentially dangerous 
ground. 

Article 28. 

• Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and 
freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. 

What is international order? Who should police the international order? Is it the United 
Nations? UN is the world's biggest whore house; the Secretary General being the Madam of 
the house, the governments who send their representatives the pimp, the west being the 
client who foots the bill and the representatives the whores. These representatives are 
trained to put up a smiling face just as the whores in the whorehouse. 

Article 29. 

• (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full 
development of his personality is possible. 

• (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such 
limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due 
recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just 
requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic 
society. 

• (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes 
and principles of the United Nations. 

"Democratic society" is misplaced in this article. 

"Purposes and principles of the United Nations" has no universal mandate. 

Article 30. 

• Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or 
person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the 
destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. 

There is no doubt that the drafters of UDHR: 

• Dr. Charles Malik, a Christian from Lebanon 

• Alexander Bogomolov, a Communist from Russia 

• Dr. Peng-Chun China, a philosopher from China (he insisted on the removal of all 
allusions to God from the UDHR) 

• Rene Cassin, a Jew from France 

• Eleanor Roosevelt, a Christian from USA (played an instrumental role) 

• Charles Dukes, a Catholic from Northern Ireland. 

25 I 92 P a g e 



• William Hodgson, a Cliristian from Australia 

• Hernan Santa Cruz, a Cliristian from Chile 

• John P. Humphrey, a Christian from Canada (carried the main responsibility for 
gathering and analyzing the background documents. 

all had good intentions. 

Human nature is much more complex than the articles proclaimed under UDHR, or the 
international treaties and conventions. It is forever dynamic and evolving(internal and 
external changes) in time and space. It is not by legalization and enforcement of 
proclamations, treaties, conventions, etc.bywhich peace and harmony can be brought to 
humanity. It is by sharing and caring, by cultivating compassion for all human beings, and by 
understanding human nature that peace and harmony can be brought to humanity. 

I conclude by urging all readers to visit website www.wikihow.com/Live-in-Peace 



26 I 92 P a g e 



THE FALSE WORLD 



According to the Recent African Ancestry tineory, modern human beings evolved in Africa 
and migrated out of the continent some 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. They walked out from 
Africa in three different races: Caucasoids (Caucasions), Mongoloids and Negroids. These 
roamed across the earth, often facing natural calamities sometimes so severe that whole 
groups became extinct, and by 8000BC had spread all over the world. 

In the early days they were afraid of nature: afraid of lightning, thunder, the ice-cold winds, 
storms and volcanic eruptions. Some dared these events of nature and some others had 
explanations; thus evolved the tribe leader and the medicine men. These two, in 
collaboration, became the leaders of the groups or tribes. This alliance between the tribal 
leader and the tribal medicine man was to evolve into collaboration of kings and monarchs 
with the church. Sometimes there is a conflicting stance between the two and other times it 
is a co-operative stance. This continues till today. 

From early times humans, like animals, learnt the art of tactical deception to survive against 
odds; which were aplenty. But this art has evolved beyond tactics; it has become a genetic 
resource which is passed on from father to son. Lying, as a tactic of deception, has been 
cultivated to an extreme art. 

Tactical deception of others has gradually ingrown to self-deception. This self-deception 
culminated with Abraham's invention of GOD around 2000BC. Perhaps it was just a strategy 
to unite people around him by a promise which he did not have to deliver in this world. Later 
on Christianity and Islam followed in the footsteps of Abraham; claiming same descent but 
distinct from the Jews. Meantime other peoples and races had, by this time, invented their 
own Gods and Goddesses; the Greeks and Romans had them: Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, 
Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter (Greek) and Jupiter, Venus, Apollo, Mars, Diana, Minerva, 
Ceres (Roman). Later on Christianity subdued the Greeks and Roman gods and goddesses, 
assigning them to mythology status in history. Caucasions had similar gods and goddesses 
and took with these gods and goddesses when they invaded Egypt and Indus valley. The 
same happened in Egypt where it was Islam that dominated. These gods and goddesses are 
still prevalent in India, in the name of Hinduism. 

According to Abraham man was made in the likeness of God to rule "over the fish in the sea 
and the birds in the air, over the livestock, over the earth, and over all the creatures that 
move along the ground". What an irony when man chooses to cover himself (the likeness of 
God) with clothes of varying colours and designs, and paint their faces with various hues! By 
a stroke of genius Abraham had made the ruler of all the creatures in the world; to slaughter 
and kill and eat, or waste, at his pleasure. As the ruler of all things living on mother earth 
man has destroyed everything mother earth and nature could provide. As the earth is 
devastated and becomes barren man starts talking about climate change and accompanying 
global disaster. As the plants and animals are killed, slaughtered to extinction man tries to 
find ways to save them from total extinction. Thousands, nay millions, of species, both plants 
and animals, have gone extinct in satisfying man's thirst for power and lust. Abraham had 
also devised a way for man to atone in this world for all the crimes he committed. 

Like deception, lying has been cultivated to the finest of arts. Sam Harris, the well-known 
neuroscientist, writes: "Among the many paradoxes of human life, this (lying) is perhaps the 
most peculiar and consequential. We often behave in ways that are guaranteed to make us 
unhappy. Many of us spend our lives marching with open eyes towards remorse, regret, 
guilt, and disappointment. And nowhere do our injuries seem more casually self-inflicted, or 

27 I 92 P a g e 



the suffering we create more disproportionate to tine needs of the moment, than in the LIES 
we tell to other human beings. Lying is the royal road to chaos". 

We tell small (white) lies and big lies. 

We tell white lies for convenience, to avoid an embarrassing situation, to praise and to keep 
secrets and to deceive the listener. Everyday couples lie to each other, students lie in 
colleges, workers lie to their colleagues, friends lie to friends. Lying is a part of our everyday 
life like breathing is natural. 

Most of us are painfully aware that our trust in governments, corporations, mews and 
electronic news media and other public institutions has been eroded and undermined by lies. 
Lying has precipitated, or prolonged, wars: (1) The Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam and (2) 
fake reports of of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, were both instances in which lying 
led to wars. 

Politicians are lying all the time. This is all the more grave because the audience, now 
available through electronic media and televisions, give them a greater audience. 
Government spokesmen lie or deceive most of the time. We shall do well the bear in mind 
that today's television consumers as masses of mental prisoners who get their values and 
views of the world from the images and programs that powerful corporations or governments 
keep feeding into their minds. Most viewers are in no position, nor have the disposition, to 
check the facts. 

So deception and lying is the order of the day and we live in this deception and lying every 
moment of our lives. 



28 I 92 P a g e 



GREECE - DEATH KNELL OF CAUCASOID HEGEMONY 

Greece is the economists' liot debate for all the wrong reasons. The country is in deep 
financial crisis over burdened by public and external debts. Cost of further borrowing is 
increasingly expensive; the kind the country can hardly afford. Different economists, financial 
institutions, politicians and statesmen have different reasons for the crisis and differing 
solutions, often geometrically opposite, to the problem. 

Let us take a look at the vital statistics of Greece: 

Size (Area) 1 31 ,957 Sq. Km 

Population 10,767,827 

0-14 years 14.2% 

15 -64 years 66.2% 

65+ 19.6% 

Labor Force 4,959 million 

Immigrant 20% 

Unemployment 17.3% (2011) 

15-24 years 25.8% (2011) 

GDP US$312 billion 

Agriculture 3.3% 

Industry 17.9% 

Services 78.9% 

(Tourism) 15% 

GDP per capita US$ 27,600 

Exports US$ 26.64 billion 

FE reserves in Gold US$ 6.37 billion 

Public Debt 1 65.4% of GDP 

External Debt US$ 583.3 billion 

Population Below Poverty Line 20% 

The patient is now on the table for readers to diagnose the illness. 

Verdict: Patient has bitten much more than it can swallow. 

Now let us analyze the options propounded by the economists, financial institutions, 
politicians and others to cure the patient: 

Option A: Cut back on spending and introduce austerity measures. 
Option B: Borrow more and expand economy 

CUT BACK ON SPENDING AND INTRODUCE AUSTERITY MEASURES 

1. Greece's per capita GDP of US$ 27,600 compares fairly well in relation to the 
average per capita of US$ 34,500. It compares very high as compared to those in 
China and India, which are US$ 8,570 & 3,700 only. So, individually the Greeks are 
so, so compared to its Euro-zone partners but very rich when compared to China and 
India. 

2. The reason the Greeks are richer than the average Chinese and Indians is because 
they have set high wages to their labor rates. These rates are artificially set by the 
perception of the health of a country. If a man in China, the country which is today 
propping up the world financially from total collapse, can live on US$ 8,570 per 
annum, why can't the Greeks do so? 



29 I 92 P a g e 



3. By reducing the cost of living to Cliinese standards the Greeks can save US$ 150 
billion. The government could then issue bonds to buy this amount and use it to pay 
off part of the external debt of US$ 583.3 billion. This will ease the cast of 
borrowings. 

4. Greece does not have any industry or agriculture worth its name; it is dependent on 
the service sector, that too heavily (15% of GDP) on tourism, a sector beyond its 
control. Greece is a welfare state, a luxury it can ill afford. It ranks top in number of 
physicians per capita at 4.4 as against China 1.51 and India 0.6. It ranks also in the 
top bracket in cars per capita at 455as against 118 & 12 in China and India. This 
luxury must all go if the Greeks are to be proud descendents of a once proud country 
embedded in history; they must get out of the beggar mode. 

5. They have to swallow their pride to do manual and menial jobs they have left to be 
done by immigrants which comprise 20% of the labor force. 

6. But all these austerities will also shrink the economy and eventually lead to more 
external debts even Greeks now start to work and live like the Chinese and Indians. 

7. Shrinking of economy will entail more job losses and even more hardship. 

8. Eventually there will be public outrage and complete break-down of law and order. 

BORROW MORE AND EXPAND ECONOMY 

1 . With an economy relying on the service sector where are the scopes to expand? 

2. Tourism, which makes 15% of the GDP, is not in their hands. The more Greeks 
debate and fight amongst themselves, the farther a congenial environment will 
prevail in Greece to attract tourists into their country. 

3. Greece was never known as an industrial or technological might. The complacent 
Greeks are hardly in a position to match the might, in this respect, of her Euro-zone 
partners. Markets in the (so labeled) third world have vanished. In effect countries 
like, Korea, China, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Argentina, etc. have overtaken the Greek 
industry and technology. 

4. Further borrowing to expand is a non-starter. 

Another option, which the economists and financial institutions are not, but Greek politicians 
are proposing. That is, to request (beg) the external creditors to freeze the interest payable 
on the US$ 583.3 billion and to give Greece a breathing space to get its house in order. This 
will have a domino effect on the finances of the banks and financial institutions who are the 
creditors. Other Euro-zone governments can step in but most of them are already in 
recession; one exception being Germany who ranks 4"^ in GDP. But bear in mind Germany 
is only 26'^ in GDP per capita at US$ 38,400. Its practicality is doubtful at the best. 

SO THE PATIENT IS DEADNO MATTER WHICH PROCEDURE IS OPTED. SHE HAD 
LIVED BEYOND HER MEANS FOR TOO LONG. 

The question naturally that follows is: how did Greece come to the state of affairs? Surely 
statistics would have warned the policy makers in Greece of this danger. 

To understand the causes, which are many, we have to look at the history of the Caucasoid 
race. History records the hegemonic culture and ideology of the Caucasoid race (and its 
sub-races). 

From 1500BC the Caucasoids descended from central Europe and swept across the 
Northern Africa, the Middle-East and into Northern India, exterminating the Negroids who 
had preceded them in these areas. 



30 I 92 P a g e 



Before Columbus discovered(?) America in 1492 and white settlers started migrating from 

Europe to 
America in 1600, tine population of the peoples then inhabiting America is estimated to be 

from 50 to 
100 million. Today this number has been reduced to 2.5 million in USA, 1.5 million in 

Canada, 10 million 
in Mexico and around 43 million in South America; a total of 48 millions. What happened to 

the native 
population then? The Pope had then decreed that the natives were animals without souls 

and could be 
hunted and killed like animals; and the whites did exactly that. 

From 17"^ century onwards hordes of Caucasoid plunderers, armed with Christian beliefs, 
fanned out from Europe (England, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Germany) to 
colonize Negroid and Mongoloid held territories in Africa, Asia and South America. Surely the 
race that can conquer the world must be a superior race as surely must also be their beliefs, 
customs and ideas! 

On 6'^ August 1945, when the Japanese troops were in full retreat and the fall of Japan was 
imminent, America dropped the first ever atom bomb in Hiroshima killing thousands of 
Japanese civilians and maiming many more others for life; the effects still carried over to 
their children. Remember, this atom bomb had never been tested and the extent of the 
damages it would cause still unknown. This bomb could have wiped Japan off the map! The 
American rational was that it would hasten the Japanese surrender, thereby saving 
American soldiers.. Three days later, on 9"^ August 1945 America dropped the second atom 
bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, to force Japan to surrender immediately to America 
rather than surrender to Russia whose troops were closing in on Japan from the north. 

From the 17"^ century onwards till 1945 (still later in Africa) the European countries exploited 
the material resources of countries across the world and built their industry; importing raw 
materials from their respective colonies and selling those back to the countries of origin at 
tenfold value addition. Having amassed huge fortunes, industries and technology these 
European countries led the world market. If a bridge had to be built in the Asian and South 
American countries, European technology and finance had to be relied upon; so too for 
setting up industries, other infrastructures. Only Japan competed with them. Little did they 
realize that millions (nay billions) of people in Asia and South America, their former colonies, 
were catching up. The European nations built themselves into welfare states for the pleasure 
and happiness of their respective citizens. They became complacent. All this time millions of 
Asians and South Americans were toiling and becoming technologically self-reliant. 

The 21^' century saw a radical shift. Japan, which was already an industrial and financial 
power house, was joined by South Korea, China, Taiwan and India in Asia and by Brazil, 
Argentina and Mexico in the Americas. 

The over four thousand years of hegemonic culture of the Caucasoids cannot be re- 
sculptured in a few decades. That the Mongoloids and Negroids are equally capable people 
the white Caucasoid cannot accept. That decade has gone by since the end of the 20"^ 
century. 

Greece is down and out now. With the fall of Greece the domino effect will bring down 
Europe and finally America. The Caucasoid is now down on his knees; it's only a matter of 
decades before they finally fall and, with it, the Caucasoid hegemony. 



31 I 92 P a g e 



Multi-party Democracy vs Authoritarian Governance 

Compare today the economies of the democratic multi-party Western World with that of the 
(so labeled) authoritarian single party China! Consider these : 

(1 ) Public debts (% of GDP) of USA, EU & China are 1 02, 82 & 1 8 respectively 

(2) External debts (in trillion US$) of USA, EU & China are 15 (mostly to China!), 13 & 0.5 

respectively 

(3) External debts to GDP (%) of USA, EU & China are 99, 85 & 5 respectively. 

CIVILIZATION AND FOSSIL FUELS 

Prior to the industrial revolution people all over the world lived not much above subsistence 
level. More than eighty percent of the population was engaged in farming and other means 
of survival. 

The first industrial revolution started in England in the late eighteen century; followed by 
Germany and France. The real industrialization, called The Second Industrialization started 
in mid nineteenth century with the invention of the steam engine and the internal combustion 
engine. Spurred by their newfound knowledge to convert raw materials into useful products, 
and that two in great volumes, England and Europe sat out across their borders seeking raw 
material resources; eventually to colonize the whole world. Consumption of oil and gas 
accelerated with the discovery of very large quantities of oil and gas reserves in the Middle 
East. Industrialization gathered pacetill the second world war. During the war period huge 
quantities of oil was required to run the machines of war. 

After end of the war, with many countries ravaged, cities factories destroyed, industrialization 
grew in quantum leaps. Power plants, factories and industries were set up at a mind- 
boggling pace. Quality of life improved throughout Europe and America. Japan and South 
Korea joined in the race in early twentieth century to be followed later by China, India, Brazil, 
Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. The standard of living, as defined by possession of 
wealth, improved. The rest of the world followed and standard of living improved across the 
board. Economies blossomed as the growth engines were fuelled by ever abundant 
discoveries of oil and gas resources. 

Today, as we look back to the days of our forefathers, we are inclined to believe that we are 
living in a better world. But are we leaving a better world for our future posterity? 

Objective experts and analysts now tell us that the oil and gas reserves will, at present day's 
rate of consumption, last for only forty and sixty five years respectively. The rate of 
consumption has not peaked yet. Energy hungry China and India, with growth rate at over 
nine and eight percent respectively, are gobbling up more and more oil and gas. So are 
other emerging economies. The end of the oil and gas may come sooner. Coal is predicted 
to last another one hundred and fifty years. But with the deficit in oil and gas the 
consumption rate of coal will increase; at best it may last for another hundred years. 

People who believe in faith will look for divine intervention. I have no argument here. 

Barring a divine intervention to future of our children seems very bleak. 

Europe and US will be insulated to a certain extent because they have invested very heavily 
in nuclear energy research. Today most of the European countries are producing above 
twenty percent of their total electricity requirement from nuclear plants. They will have little 
difficulty in switching totally to nuclear energy when the time comes. So too is true with US. 

32 I 92 P a g e 



Apart from South Korea and Japan only a few Asian and African countries produce electricity 
from nuclear plants; and that too below five percent of the total production. 

I am afraid we will revert back to the pre decolonization era if we do not do something for 
ourselves. 

BANGLADESH SCENRIO 

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was incorporated as a statutory body 
under an Act in 1964. I remember one of our classmates, Yusuf Chowdhury, joined this 
organization immediately after graduation. Yusuf subsequently left the organization to join 
the civil service. 

PAEC is charged with the promotion of, and research work on the peaceful uses of atomic 
energy in the fields of agriculture, medicine and industry, as well as the execution of 
development projects involving nuclear power stations and the generation of electric power, 
and to perform such other functions relating to the peaceful uses of atomic energy as may 
be agreed between the commission and the government. 

Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) was established in 1973 through the 
promulgation of the Presidential Order. Since then BAEC has been keeping itself engaged in 
the planning and development of acquiring nuclear technology for possible peaceful 
applications in the fields of food, agriculture, health, industry and environment ensuring 
nuclear safety and radiation protection. Its other mission is "implementation of nuclear power 
program". 

Whilst PAEC states in no uncertain terms regarding its mission to develop nuclear power 
stations and generation of electric power, BAEC is non-specific in this activity. 

Whilst Pakistan has won laurels in developing nuclear technology Bangladesh has nothing to 
show. Pakistan and India can boast of stalwarts like Dr. Kader Khan and Dr. AbulKalam 
Azad. 

It is imperative, and high time, that Bangladesh government puts special emphasis in 
developing nuclear technology for power generation. Our universities produce some of the 
best young graduates in engineering, physics and applied sciences. These talents need to 
be harnessed in the interest of the country; in fact to save the country from total darkness. 

We can follow the systems and examples set by Pakistan and India to develop our young 
talent in nuclear technology; in particular for electricity generation. Setting up a nuclear 
power plant with assistance of any other country would be of little value if we do not develop 
nuclear technology ourselves. 



33 I 92 P a g e 



AMINA 

Amina is a dark complexioned girl born to poor family who lives off the little piece of land that 
the land. Father, when he is not working on the land, works as a labourer. 

Scene 1 : Amina suckling from her mother. 

Scene 2: Amina toddling with sparkling innocent eyes. 

Scene 3: Amina, now two years old, is in market with father. She sees grown men and 

children taking sweets from vendors, so reaches out with her tiny hands to 
grab a handful but is immediately stopped by father. She tries again at the 
next stall and the vendor hits her hand with a stick. Amina is perplexed as the 
why other people and children are taking but she is not allowed. 

Scene 4: Amina is now five. Shee sees children of her age playing in the neighboring 

house belogning to a rich neighbour. She is immediately scolded and chased 
out. She then sees some children III dressed as herself playing in the field. 
This time she is not chased away. 

Scene 5: Amina is now six. The rich neighbour with two people come to the house, 

pulls her father out of the house. They first scold her father, shouting that his 
cow had broken their femce and eaten much of their family vegetable garden. 
They then beat up her father and leave. Amina is scared. 

Scene 6: Amina is now seven. She is in the village market with her father. She 

accidentally bumps into a man drops the picther of curd he is carrying. The 
man, sternly looking, slaps her on her cheek. When her father protests, he 
beats up her father, and is finally obliged to ask for forgiveness. Amina 
wonders why her father does not fight back. Back home her mother explains 
to her that those people were rich and powerful. 

another time the wife of the rich neighbour comes and scolds and beats her 
mother saying that her chicken had broken a pitcher in their house. Amina 
now thinks they were inferior to the rich people. 

Scene 7: Amina is now eight. She observes, through the gaps in the fence, little girls 

like herself all dressed alike, chattering and laughing all the while ontheroad. 
The mother tells Amina that these were children of wealthy families and they 
are going to school. Amina now knows there are different classes of people; 
rich and poor, and that the poor are inferior to the rich. The spirit inside her 
dies and accepts her inferior status in life. 

Scene 8: Amina is now ten. She is working in the house because her mother had gone 

to work as a help at a rich neighbors' house. She is sweating and wiping her 
brows. She is struggling with the fire and the smoke. 

Scene 9: Amina is now sixteen and is getting married to a man of twenty four from the 

next village. He is strong looking. Amina automatically assumes the inferior 
status. 

34 I 92 P a g e 



Scene 10: Amina and her husband are in their new house, built from mud and roofed 
with hay. They even have a small compound in front and at the back. They 
are happy. Husband works as a farm hand to a rich landlord of the next 
village. Amina struggles with the household chores. 

Scene 11: Amina is eighteen. The first child is born. It is a girl and the husband is not 
happy. In the next three years they have two more children, both boys. The 
family is poor and they do not have enough to eat and clothe. 

Scene 12: Amina is twenty four. The husband leaves for the city. Amina takes a look 
around in absolute perplexity. The husband had left with her little money 
promising he would send them money as soon as he starts earning in the city. 
Intiution tells Amina that she must be extremely frugal. She spends as little 
money as she could, but still the little money keeps on disappearing. She then 
sells the little possession she could master from the house to feed herself and 
the three children. They are always hungry and asking for food. Many a night 
she goes absolutely without food. Months pass by and still there is no news 
from the husband. Amina prays and weeps in silence. The situation becomes 
critical and Amina goes out to work as a help at a rich men's house. The lady 
of the house is cruel and arrogant and often abuses Amina and sometimes 
beats her. Amina has no option but to pray and weep silently. Then the son of 
the house rapes her. What can she do. She can starve and die, but what 
about the children? She washes her shame with her tears. She prays and 
weeps silently. Then a sympathetic relative comes to visit her. Amina is 
ashamed of her appearance and covers her body for modesty. The relatives 
are takes pity and gives her some chicks to raise. In one year the chicks 
mature. Amina sells the male ones and keeps the hen for eggs. But there is 
still ot enough food, leave aside modest clothing. 

Scene 13: Amina is twenty eight. Some women at the house she works are speaking 
about a bank, they are not sure of its name that is giving loans to very poor 
women without any possession to show. Amina gradually learns that the bank 
is Grameen bank. She goes to the bank and tells of her desperate poverty 
and the bank loans her taka three thousand at the interest rate of thirty two 
percent. Amina, not knowing, or caring about the interest rate, takes the 
money. She buys one fifty chickens for taka two thousand and keeps taka 
one thousand for expenses. 

Scene 14: Amina is thirty. Now she is not going hungry. She is able to buy clothe for 
herself and the children. She is even able to send her two boys to the local 
school which is free. Amina thanks god, and Grameen bank. For the first time 
in her life she feels secure. She can even afford to put a shy smile to her face. 
She is even paying the installments on her loan. 

Scene 15: Amina is thirty four. Tragedy, nay catastrophe, strikes. There is bird's flu 
spreading in her area. Amina monitors her chickens with anxiety everyday. 
Then one morning she sees greenish white fetas, the flu has come to her 
home. The next morning some chicks are dead. Every time she sees the 
greenish white fetas her heart stops a beat. She looks up the heavens and 

35 I 92 P a g e 



prays; then weeps; weeps silently, for she is afraid of the world. By the time 
the flu passes by ninety percent of her chickens are dead. 

With the few chickens left she cannot buy enough food to feed herself and her 
children. She finds employment at a neighbour's house at a meager pay. Her 
daughter is now sixteen but she cannot find a suitable husband for her, the 
daughter is dark complexioned like Amina. The boys are not yet old enough 
to work for money; there are some small industries not far from the village but 
there is an ngo in the area which campaigns that employing people under 
eighteen is against human rights and law. Their campaign is very powerful. 
Amina moans against this ngo and against human rights and curses them 
slently. Everything amina does, she does it silently; for she is afraid of the 
world where she is an inferior person. Amina is failing in payment of the 
installment against the loan from Grameen bank. The collector of the bank, a 
stern woman, visits her and berates her not paying her installments. With 
thirty two percent interest the loan keeps on growing and growing. Amina is 
obliged to send her daughter to work as a help at a richman's house' but she 
worries, having experienced the ill treatment and the rapes. What else can 
she do? As long as there is life in the body she and the children must eat. The 
collector's visit becomes more often; each occasion she berates her in ways 
even the kabuliwallah would frown. Butamina cannot pay. She can hardly 
feed her children and herself; often going hungry. She prays and weeps, 
weeps in silence because she is arfraid of the world. 

Scene 16: Amina is thirty six when tragedy strikes a second time. Her unmarried 
daughter is now with child, fathered by the owner of the house she worked. 
Amina moans, she shrieks, she weeps loudly now because she is no longer 
afraid of the world. She has nothing to loose now. Come nightfall Amina lays 
down in her scant bed never to rise again. The morning saw the body of a 
skinny and wrinkled body of Amina, that Amina who is only thirty six years 
old. There was a sneer in her face as if to say to the world "i am not afraid of 
you; now you cannot torment me anymore". 

Epitaph: 

Amina never knew that a great man of Bengal named sheikh Mujibur Rahamn called this 
country "sonar Bangia", had she known she would have asked; "where is my sonar"? She 
had never heard those patriotic songs singing the praise of Bangia and Bangladesh; 
otherwise she would have asked, "am i not a Bengali and am i not a part of those songs? 
Why can't i sing those songs?" She never knew that a great poet and literature named 
Rabindranath Tagore had written "this life is blest! For your sake such miles have i travelled" 
or else Amina would have responded " such miles have i traversed with misery, where is my 
blest"?. She never heard the politicians eulogizing the country called Bangladesh, or else 
she would have asked "were you eulogizing me"? 



36 I 92 P a g e 



DEMOCRACY + CAPITALISM + CONSUMERISM + INDIVIDUALISM 

= RECIPE FOR DISASTER 

The general perception is tliat democratic system is the best system of governance available 
to the world. 

Now let us examine whether this perception is an illusion or a reality. 

The origin of democracy, a combination of two elements of Greek words - "Demos" 
(people)+"Kratos"(power) - meaning people's power - traces back to classical Athens in 
600BC. In those times two political parties or social classes that vied for power in classical 
Athens, were the oligarchs and the democrats. The oligarchs tried to establish a state in 
which only owners of substantial amounts of property could vote and hold public office whilst 
the democrats insisted that all male citizens have the same rights. In this context it would be 
worthwhile to revisit Plato's "Republic". The rule by society's best minds was the core 
concept of Plato's so-called "philosopher kings". In Republic he wrote "as a just and healthy 
person is governed by knowledge and reason, a just society must be under the control of 
society's most cultivated and best informed minds". Plato's "Ship Analogy" and "Allegory of 
the Cave" elaborates his dis-satisfaction with democracy and elaborates on its intrinsic 
defects. 

In the modern times democracy was given a new meaning by the rhetoric of Abraham 
Lincoln in his Gettysburg speech of 1863 when he introduced the catch phrase: "by the 
people, for the people and of the people". These few words ignited the imagination of the 
world. It would not be far from wrong to say that democracy really took roots in the minds of 
the people all over the world from these few words. What could be more beholden than the 
promise of every person a share in the power game! But you must admit that Abraham 
Lincoln was a person of little learning. Yet it was not till the end of the First World War in 
1 91 8 that democracy was beginning to take hold of European countries. Till 1 91 8 there were 
only three Republics in Europe: France, Switzerland and Portugal. One must note that 
though the First World War was started on territorial dispute between the Austro-Hungarian 
Empire and its neighbors it took a turn to ideological war when USA intervened. Austro- 
Hungarian Empire represented the monarchy as opposed to democracy advocated by USA. 
So, unlike previous conflicts in Europe where the conflicts ended with peace agreements this 
war was fought to the last. Democracy, represented by USA, was the victor against 
monarchy, represented by Austro-Hungarian Empire. This empire was disemboweled into 
three countries leaving only the core German speaking area to form today's Austria. One by 
one the other monarchies, under the pressure from USA, crumbled and democratic system 
took over. 

Now is this catch phrase "for the people, by the people and of the people" a reality to 
empower to the people in the decision making of the country's affairs or is it just an empty 
slogan to fool the many? Take a look at democracy in play today in USA. One has to be a 
multi-millionaire to promote his candidature for a Senate in the US. The estimated price tag 
for the US elections in next November is estimated at almost US$ 6 billion. So much for 
people's power! The real system is "for the 10 percent, by the 10 percent and of the 10 
percent". 

When one is asked why he wants democracy, the most likely answer is they he wants 
liberty. What he is not aware is that democracy does not guarantee individual freedom. In 
fact democracy is the antithetical to liberty. 



37 I 92 P a g e 



In the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - which lists all laws enacted by the federal 
government - comprises of 200 volumes, of which the index alone takes up more than 700 
pages. It contains rules for everything under the sun - from how a watchband should look to 
how the onion rings should be prepared in restaurants. There are half a million people 
behind bars in the US just for "drug crimes'. No one is safe from law enforcers, anyone can 
be locked up on any pretext. No "right" is sacrosanct, neither the right of free speech nor the 
right to property. 

Recall the recent diplomatic row between India and Sweden where an Indian couple had 
their child taken away from by law enforcers because they were feeding the child sitting on 
the floor! 

The US has the maximum number of people behind bars: 

USA: 2,01 9,250 out of a population of 340 million 
China: 1 ,549,000 out of a population of 1300 million 
Russia: 846,970 out of a population of 130 million 
India: 31 3,967 out of a population of 1200 million. 



Ranking of USA by country 




Subject 


Rank 


Homicide 


78 


Divorce 


3 


Domestic Violence 


5 


Single Mothers 


1 



I will take the example of India, often hailed as the biggest democratic country in the world. 
This country stinks of corruption in the ruling and corporate circle. Not a single political party 
or person is untouched by corruption. The most senior ministers along with their crony 
corporate collaborators are all under the scanner. There was the G-2 scam, followed by the 
Coalgate Scandal, then the Navasa Housing Scandal, etc. involving hundreds of billions of 
dollars illegally acquired by ministers, politicians and their crony corporate partners. Sonia 
Gandhi may have escaped herBoforsmis-adventure but she cannot clean her hands from 
her son-in-law Robert Bhadra. The chief of the BJP, Mr. Gadkari, is under the scanner. 
Democratic politics and business nexus have had heyday for over three decades; all 
plundering the wealth of India. Whilst Indian boasts a healthy growth of around 8% and 
MuheshAmbani is worth US$ 20 billion plus, 32.7% percent of its population (327 million) 
earn under US$ 1.3/day and 36% (360 million) earn US$ 2.00/dayl That is not enough for 
the rich. Land on which the marginalized part of the population scraped a living are being 
handed over to the rich for investments in industry, housing, etc.. That is not the end; the 
little parcels of land owned by these marginalized people through their forefathers are 
requisitioned for industries rendering these marginalized people as destitutes. Is this what 
democracy promised? 

Democracy denotes free market and by extension capitalism. Capitalism by definition is "an 
economic system that is based on private ownership and the means of creation of goods or 
services for profit". Central to capitalism include competitive markets, wage labor and capital 
accumulation. It looks innocent, but is it in reality? Consider this: 

Earning per Day Population 

US$ in Billion 

1. 1.00 0.88 

2. 1.45 1.72 

3. 2.00 3.14 

38 I 92 P a g e 



Of the 7 billion people inhabiting the world today we have over 50% of the population below 
the poverty line. Compare this to the 24.2 millionaires and billionaires in the world with 
Carlos Slim of Mexico topping the list at US$ 69 billion, followed by Bill Gates at US$ 61 
billion. In every country the gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger. Whist a rich 
household lives in an apartment of 2500 square feet and more and has central air- 
conditioning the poor guy down the lane living in aslum cannot afford to light one bulb. 
Almost one billion people live in slums. What good is democracy+capitalism to these and 
other marginalized people who comprise over half the world's total population? 

Then again democracy coupled with capitalism tempts the general population to expect the 
best of living conditions; in other words everybody wants the cake for himself. To appease 
this popular demand the government has to make the cake bigger which it does by 
borrowing: from internal public and by external borrowings. This means every democratic 
capitalist country has to borrow and live beyond its means. The classic examples are 
Greece, Spain, Italy and some other Euro-zone countries. These countries have no means 
to pay back on their debt. Politicians and economists are coming up with various solutions 
and more often than not they contradict each other. There is no way out for these and other 
euro-zone countries to recover or even maintain their status. The yesteryear developing 
countries like China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Brazil and Argentina who were the markets have 
now become suppliers. The US has an even worse record in that its borrowings (public debt 
plus external debt) are more than double its GDP. Here we are talking of US$ 30 trillion of 
debt against a GDP of US$ 15 trillion. Recall the budget crisis of 2011 when the American 
government went broke and there was real danger of the government machinery shutting 
down; depriving the one million federal employees of their pay. 

With capitalism comes consumerism. Remember capitalism, to be sustained, requires the 
GDP of each country to grow by minimum two percent. If this is not achieved than the 
economy stagnates and recession is not far away. Once recession sets in the financial 
system tends to collapse. So countries must keep on producing ever more and find markets 
for their produce. Therefore the public are encouraged to spend which is made easier by our 
cashless financial system. Individuals spend more than they can otherwise afford. The 
present civilization is today based on fossil fuels: coal, gas and oil. Some of the best 
scientists have predicted that oil reserves in the world will be exhausted within forty years, 
gas within sixty years and coal possibly within hundred years. Emerging economies like 
China, India and Brazil are now in the fray to secure supplies of these vital commodities. 
This unbridled competition for scarce energy resources will invariably lead to animosity and 
conflict between countries; manifested in propaganda and intrigue against each other. 
Danger of wars over energy hangs today like the sword of Damocales. 

Compounding the already precarious situation is the slow, but certain, conversion of the 
world to individualism. During the days of our forefathers people were born and brought up in 
communities where adherence to traditional social cultures was binding. People realized and 
lived in mutual obligation. Today this fabric of human bondage has been torn asunder by 
individual egoism and selfishness. Money and power is what people lust for; and at any cost. 
Lying and deception is the order of the day. Honesty is no longer an attribute of a good 
person. In the US, less than a century of full-blown democracy coupled with unbridled 
capitalism and individualism has resulted in the steadily increasing moral degeneration, and 
cultural decay in the form of continually rising rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion and 
crime. 

But why does democracy attract so many people? I believe it is because that freedom 
promoted by democracy links to the religious belief that man is made after the image of God 

39 I 92 P a g e 



and hence, man by nature, is essentially good. Neuroscientists and neuro-anthropologists 
will tell you that a human being is born with its brain smaller, as compared to other animals, 
in comparison to the adult brain. But this small brain embodies in it anger, greed and 
cravings. It is only through tutoring at a small age these elements are contained. Or why 
else, after 600,000 years of walking this earth, we would still in conflict: nations between 
nations, regions against regions, races against races and religions against religions? 

Our civilization of less than a thousand years has mutilated our mother earth untold number 
of times than what our ancestors did in 600,000 years. Yet our mother earth will survive 
when this civilization dies, like other civilizations have done before ours, to host another 
civilization. 

I would refer you Hans-Hermann Hoppe's "Democracy - The God That Failed". 



40 I 92 P a g e 



APPROXIMATION TO DEMOCRACY 

The word "Democracy" is the combination of two elements of Greek words; demos (people, 
public) and kratos (power). Democracy denotes peoples' power. 

In its idealistic form, every person of the state takes part in deciding the affairs of the state. 

In the present complex world this is not achievable as the affairs of the state requires 
information and knowledge in international affairs, economics, financial practices, resources, 
criminal and civil laws, etc., etc., of not his own country only but also those of other countries 
which are beyond the competence of an ordinary citizen.An ordinary person has neither the 
time, nor disposition nor capability to acquire all those knowledge and information. One must 
bear in mind that countries are co-operating but at the same time competing for scarce 
resources and markets. 

So today countries adopt forms and systems of governance that approximate democracy; 
ideal democracy is not feasible. 

The major systems of government today are : 

• Parliamentary system like in Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, 
Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc., etc. 

• Presidential systemlike in Brazil, France, Russia, S. Korea, Indonesia, Iran, USA, 
etc., etc.. 

• Single Party systemlike in Cuba,& China. 

Parliamentary System 

In this system the ministry is subject to the legislature. 

Some countries have a single legislature (unicameral) whilst others have two legislatures 
(bicameral). 

Prominent countries with single legislature (cameral)are : Bangladesh, Denmark, Hungary, 
Israel, Norway, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, etc. 

Prominent countries with twin legislatures (bicameral)are : Australia, Austria, Canada, 
Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, United Kingdom, etc.. 

Essentially the parliamentary system has two or more parties competing for governance. 
The contending parties may nominate for every constituency or for as many constituencies 
they choose. The parties may form alliances and nominate a single candidate for any 
constituency to represent the alliance. The candidates are electedto the parliament by 
popular votes. 

The majority party in the parliament then elects the prime minister who thereafter selects the 
ministry from out of the elected parliament members; some countries electing to allow a 
certain number or proportion from outside the parliament. The post of the president, who has 
virtually no powers, is elected by the parliament through voting. 



41 I 92 P a g e 



Presidential System 

In this system the president is independent of the legislature. 

In USA each state first elect an "electoral college" also known as "electors". There are 538 
electors in each presidential election. This electoral college then elects the president. 
Members to the house of representative and to the senate are elected by popular vote. 
There are 435 and 100 members in the house of representative and the senate respectively. 

In France the president is elected by popular vote. France has two legislatures (1) National 
assembly - elected by popular vote and (2) Senate - elected partly by popular vote and 
partly by representatives. 

Like the parliamentary systemthe presidential system has two or more parties. 

Single Party System 

The single party system is a type of party system government formed by a single party or by 
parties that came to power in the wake of independence from their colonizers or civil wars. 
This type of system is fashioned by nationalist ideology. 

Most readers are familiar with the parliamentary and the presidential systems. A brief on the 
Chinese Single Party system seems to be in order 

In China functionally, it is a highly bureaucratic, multi-level, single-party republic. Starting at 
the very lowest levels, the Chinese elect a representative to serve on a local council. These 
councils elect a representative to the city council, which elects a member to a regional 
council, etc. The current system requires everyone to be a member of the same political 
party. The system can be called communist, however, it is a relatively unique system in 
which an established bureaucracy is interwoven into a republican structure. 

The system has four layers of governing bodies: 

5. Party Congress with 2,213 delegates 

6. Central Committee with 204 members and 167 alternate members 

7. Politoburo with 25 members 

8. Politoburo Standing Congress with9 members. 

Delegates to the National People's Congress are elected for five-year terms via a multi- 
tiered representative electoral system . Delegates are elected by the provincial people's 
assemblies, who in turn are elected by lower level assemblies, and so on through a series of 
tiers to the local people's assemblies which are directly elected by the electorate.. Party 
Congress elects members to the Central Committee who in turn elects members to the 
Politoburo and who finally elects members to the Politoburo Standing Committee. 



This system is much maligned by the west. I quote below an extract from a CRS Report to 
the US Congress prepared by Susan V Lawrence and Michael F. Martin. This report is 
designed to provide US Congress with a perspective of the contemporary political system of 
China. 

"Today, although the Party (Chinese Communist Party) is committed to maintaining a 
permanent monopoly on power and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule. 



42 I 92 P a g e 



analysts consider the political system to be neither monolithic nor rigidly hierarchal. 
Jockeying among leaders and institutions representing different sets of interests is common 
at every level of the system. Sometimes fierce competition exists among the members of the 
Communist Party's nine-man Politoburo Standing Committee and 25-member Politoburo, 
China's highest decision-making bodies. It also exists among ministries; between ministries 
and provincial governments, which are equals in bureaucratic rank; among provinces; and 
among the services of the military. The military and the Foreign Ministry are often on 
different pages. Even delegatesto the National Peoples' Congress, China's weak legislature, 
sometimes attempt to push back against the government, to courts, and the public 
prosecution office. As part of a trend of very modest political pluralization, moreover, other 
political actors are increasingly able to influence policy debates. Such actors, who may join 
forces to advance particular causes, include an increasingly diverse media, state-owned and 
private corporations, official and quasi-official research institutes, diversity academics, 
officially sponsored associations and societies, and grassroots non-governmental 
organizations" 

Those who may be interested can read the complete version on website 
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41007.pdf 

It is an irony that the Democratic and Republican parties in USA and the Communist 
Party in China came into being/power upon the throes of civil war. Whilst a rivalry 
between Adams and Jackson led to spilt of the originalsingle party to form the 
Democratic and Republican parties in USA, the Chinese did not experience any such 
rivalry amongst its founding fathers and so remained as one. 



It would not be illogical then to conclude that all three systems are all approximation 
only to Democracy and that none of them are truly democratic. 

Human rights and liberties have often been linked with the system of government. 
The single party system has been accused of being totalitarian (which is untrue) and 
of denying human rights and liberties (which is totally unfounded). Human rights and 
liberties are quite a another subject which I hope to take up later. 



43 I 92 P a g e 



BAKSAL -PERSPECTIVE IN RETROSPECT 

On 16'^ December 1971 a new country, Bangladesh, was born on throes of a peoples' 
revolution against the rule of West Pakistan. Sheikh MujiburRahman, as the "Father of the 
Nation", who had inspired this revolution was thrust with the responsibility realizing the 
dream of the Bengali people, a dream he had inspired. Over ninety five percent of Bengalis 
voted for his party. The Awami League, in the 1970 elections. He was the person 
responsible to make and take decisions. 

The early years were very difficult, as any newly emerged country would be. The economy 
and the industry that fueled economy were in shatters. Unwittingly we chose to adopt the 
same administrative system that was left behind by Pakistan (who had earlier adopted the 
system from the British). Three years into his rule Sheikh MujiburRahman realized he had to 
make a drastic change if the dream, he and the people of the country had dreamt, was to be 
kept alive. He decided to adopt the Chinese One Party system of governance and so in June 
1975, by the 4'^ Amendment to the constitution, he formed a single political party by 
amalgamating Awami League with KrishakSramik Party to form BAKSAL terming it as a 
"Second Revolution". One must remember that there were no other political parties of any 
consequence at that time except Jamaat which was banned. 

Some vested quarters and intellectuals screamed foul calling it "constitutional coup de tat". 
Others labeled him a dictator, referring to it as any other third world country dictator. Note 
here the reference to "third world". 

Vested quarters: in the late twentieth century Bangladesh is situated in a very important 
geopolitical region. India was pro-Moscow and communism was spreading westward from 
China to the borders of Bangladesh. Bangladesh lay between two countries the west 
deemed their foes. Remember Washington sent in the seventh fleet to the Bay of Bengal at 
the height of the war! Bangladesh was the country from which the west, particularly, USA, 
could confront their two foes. 

Intellectuals: Many of these suffered from the mental colonization by the British. They are 
comfortable to sit back and listen to the BBC on the radio or watch the entertainment and 
news dished out in the television. To a great extent these are mental prisoners of British 
colonization who get their values and views of the world from the powerful vested western 
media. They lack the disposition to check facts; all the more so because of their inferiority 
complex towards the whites. Did they ever analyze the workings of the Chinese Communist 
Party (CCP)? The west (the alpha wolf) howled FOUL and they (INFERIORS) echoed it. 

True the formation of BAKSAL as the single party through the amalgamation of Awami 
League and the Krishak Sramik Party was a concern. Having seen the activities of the 
Awami League party members and activists during the early years of Bangladesh the 
apprehensions that these thugs would take over the whole country felt by the general public 
was genuine. 

But was this that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had in mind when he formed the single party?That 
his party members and activists would rob the country dry?For a person, who had dedicated 
his whole life for the cause of the Bengali people, certainly not! He was inspired by the 

44 I 92 P a g e 



progress that China was making under the CCP and dismayed with the attitude of the west 
towards Bangladesh. 

Unfortunately Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed by the agents of the vested 
quarters along with almost his entire family in August 1975 and BAKSAL was abolished by 
the 5"^ Amendment to the constitution. We will never know what Bangladesh would be today 
if Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had never been treacherously killed. 

Was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman right to look up to the Chinese ideology and political system? 

A look at today's China should be a good indicator. 

In China functionally, it is a highly bureaucratic, multi-level, single-party republic. Starting at 
the very lowest levels, the Chinese elect a representative to serve on a local council. These 
councils elect a representative to the city council, which elects a member to a regional 
council, etc. The current system requires everyone to be a member of the same political 
party. The system can be called communist, however, it is a relatively unique system in 
which an established bureaucracy is interwoven into a republican structure. 

The system has four layers of governing bodies: 

1 . National People's Congress with 2,213 delegates 

2. Central Committee with 204 members and 167 alternate members 

3. Politoburo with 25 members 

4. Politoburo Standing Congress with 9 members. 

Delegates to the National People's Congress are elected for five-year terms via a multi- 
tiered representative electoral system . Delegates are elected by the provincial people's 
assemblies, who in turn are elected by lower level assemblies, and so on through a series of 
tiers to the local people's assemblies which are directly elected by the electorate.. Party 
Congress elects members to the Central Committee who in turn elects members to the 
Politburo and who finally elects members to the Politburo Standing Committee. 

This system is much maligned by the west. I quote below an extract from a CRS Report to 
the US Congress prepared by Susan V Lawrence and Michael F. Martin. This report is 
designed to provide US Congress with a perspective of the contemporary political system of 
China. 

"Today, although the Party (Chinese Communist Party) is committed to maintaining a 
permanent monopoly on power and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule, 
analysts consider the political system to be neither monolithic nor rigidly hierarchal. 
Jockeying among leaders and institutions representing different sets of interests is common 
at every level of the system. Sometimes fierce competition exists among the members of the 
Communist Party's nine-man Politburo Standing Committee and 25-member Politoburo, 
China's highest decision-making bodies. It also exists among ministries; between ministries 
and provincial governments, which are equals in bureaucratic rank; among provinces; and 
among the services of the military. The military and the Foreign Ministry are often on 
different pages. Even delegates to the National Peoples' Congress, China's weak 
legislature, sometimes attempt to push back against the government, to courts, and the 
public prosecution office. As part of a trend of very modest political pluralization, moreover, 
other political actors are increasingly able to influence policy debates. Such actors, who may 
join forces to advance particular causes, include an increasingly diverse media, state-owned 
and private corporations, official and quasi-official research institutes, diversity academics, 

45 I 92 P a g e 



officially sponsored associations and societies, and grassroots non-governmental 
organizations" 

Those who may be interested can read the complete version on website 
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41007.pdf 



Financial health of a country precedes he well being of its citizens. Now let us see the 
financial health of the western countries vis-a-vis China. 

The table below shows the financial statistics of the western countries (multi-party 
democracies). 



COUNTRY 


GDP in Billions 


FOREX in 
Billion $ 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT in Billions 


PUBLIC DEBT 
in Billions 


EU Countries 


16,242 


925 


13,720 


12,993 


USA 


14,526 


146 


15,571 


13,706 


Germany 


3,286 


263 


4,713 


2,758 


France 


2,562 


185 


4,698 


2,109 


UK 


2,250 


124 


8,981 


1,699 


Italy 


2,055 


187 


2.223 


2,445 


Spain 


1,410 


49 


2,166 


846 


Netherlands 


780 


56 


2,344 


496 


Poland 


469 


100 


253 


258 


Belgium 


468 


31 


1,241 


454 


Sweden 


459 


50 


853 


184 


Greece 


305 


7 


533 


435 


Portugal 


229 


24 


497 


213 


Ireland 


207 


2 


2,378 


197 


China 


7,298 


3,305 


635 


1970 



(source : Wikipedia & CIA fact book) 

Granted the Chinese Communist Party ruled with an iron fist at the time of Mao Zedong held 
absolute power in the CCP. The "cultural revolution" in 1976 that brought Deng Xiaoping into 
power transformed the economy. This transformation would not have possible but for the 
foundation set by Mao Zedong. 

True Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could have assumed power and ruled with an iron fist, but the 
foundation for a better governance may have been laid. It is quite possible that today we 
would be having a government who is interested in the welfare of the country and able to 
plan for the future. In the Chinese system of governance the government does not owe any 
reciprocal obligation or dependence to any particular section of the population but to the 
entire population of the country. The government is thereby in a position to plan for the 
future; and, importantly, within its means. 

Now dear readers tell me what is this that is so much malignant of BAKSAL based upon.; on 
facts or on fiction (result of the mental slavery to the media dished out by the west)? 

BAKSAL may not have been formed at the appropriate time and situation of the country; its 
formation by the amalgamation of Awami League with Krishak Sramik Party may have be 
viewed with forebodings by many people but there is nothing MALIGNANT about BAKSAL 
itself. 

46 I 92 P a g e 



BANGLADESH IN 2050 

To make a fairly intelligent guess of what Bangladesh will be in 2050, 

at current relevant statistics. 

For comparison purpose I have chosen countries that are projected 

populouscountries in 2050. 

Figure 1 shows the population growth since 1950 up to 2050. 

(Figures in '000) 



one will do well to look 
to be the highest eight 



RANKING 


COUNTRY 


1950 


2000 


2015 


2025 


2050 


1 


India 


357,561 


1,006,937 


1,230,484 


1,351,601 


1,572,055 


2 


China 


554,760 


1,275,133 


1,410,217 


1,470,787 


1,462,050 


3 


USA 


157,813 


283,230 


321,225 


346,822 


397,063 


4 


Pakistan 


39,659 


141,256 


204,267 


250,981 


344,170 


5 


Indonesia 


79,538 


212,092 


250,068 


272,911 


311,335 


6 


Nigeria 


29,790 


113,862 


165,313 


202,957 


278,788 


7 


Bangladesh 


41 ,783 


137,430 


183,159 


210,823 


265,432 


8 


Brazil 


53,075 


170,406 


201,393 


218,980 


247,244 



(Figure-i; 

Figure 2 shows the same countries' area and population density 



COUNTRY 


AREA (SQ.KM) 


DENSITY (2012) 
per Sq. Km 


DENSITY (2050) 
per Sq. Km 


India 


3,166,414 


368 


496 


China 


9,596,960 


140 


152 


USA 


9,826,675 


32 


40 


Pakistan 


881,912 


224 


390 


Indonesia 


1,904,569 


125 


163 


Nigeria 


923,768 


176 


302 


Bangladesh 


143,998 


1034 


1843 


Brazil 


8,514,877 


23 


29 



(Figure- 2) 

Figure 3 shows same countries by po pulation below poverty line 



COUNTRY 


BELOW POVERTY 
LINE IN % 


India 


25.0 


China 


28.0 


USA 


12.0 


Pakistan 


24.0 


Indonesia 


13.3 


Nigeria 


70.0 


Bangladesh 


40.0 


Brazil 


26.0 



(Figure -3) 



47 I 92 P a g e 



Figure 4 shows the financial health of the same countries. 
(Fibures in million $) 



COUNTRY 


GDP 


PUBLIC 
DEBT 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT 


F.E 
RESERVES 


EXPORTS 


IMPORTS 


India 


1,850,401 


954,992 


335,000 


286,019 


303,700 


488,600 


China 


7,298,147 


1,885,841 


635,500 


3,240,010 


1,898,000 


1 ,743,468 


USA 


15,094,025 


15,712,880 


15,813,740 


149,836 


1,511,000 


2,344,000 


Pakistan 


210,566 


126,550 


57,210 


17,800 


25,350 


32,710 


Indonesia 


636,059 


155,834 


196,100 


111,528 


208,900 


127,100 


Nigeria 


213,129 


37,511 


1 1 ,020 


36,810 


101,000 


34,180 


Bangladesh 


115,388 


42,347 


24,460 


10,980 


23,860 


21,340 


Brazil 


2,417,570 


1,315,158 


310,800 


374,000 


250,800 


219,600 



(Figure -4) 

What are our resources: 

1. Land for agriculture 

2. Inland water-bodies for fish 

3. Sea coast for fish 

4. Gas 

5. Coal 



LAND FOR AGRICULTURE 

Total area : 

Land mass : 

Water mass : 

Forest area : 

Agricultural area : 

Arable area : 



143,998 square kilometers 

90.4 % = 130,174 sq. km. 

9.6% = 13,824 sq. km. 

6.7% of land mass = 8,722 sq. km. 

69.5% of land mass = 90,471 sq. km 

88.1% of agricultural area = 79,705 sq. km. 



What the above means is that in 2050 the population of 265,432,000 will have to feed off 
79,705 sq. km.; i.e. 7,970,500 hectares (1 sq. km. = 100 hectares) less the increase in 
housing, industries, roads, etc. 

Exact rice production is hard to get by, and also varies from year to year. Current production 
is around 25 million tons; give or take 10% for yearly variation. We are barely able to meet 
the country's rice requirement at the moment; at times over a million tons are required to be 
imported to feed the entire population. The level of our population below the poverty line 
(40%) indicates that 40% of our population, roughly sixty million, are ill-fed or hungry. By 
2050 a substantial part of the arable area will have been encroached by housings, roads, 
industries, etc. and we may see a reduction of up to 1 0%. That means the level of our rice 
production, despite in advances being achieved in productivity, thanks to the efforts of BRRI 
and its dedicated scientists, will be below present level of around 25 million tons per annum. 
How will the country feed the 100 million mouths that will be added by 2050! The cost of 
importing 20 million tons of rice will cost (at today's price) US Dollars 10 billion. 

WAYERWAYS FOR FISH 

There was a time when the inland water bodies supplied the majority of the requirement of 
the population with sweet water fish. The hoars in the north eastern part of Bangladesh - 
Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Netrokona and Kishorganj - were rich in fish. So also were 
the inland rivers and other water bodies. But over-fishing over the many years, dwindling of 
wetlands, industrial pollution & contamination have had their toll. Many rivers have been 
choked to death by industrial pollution. Many species have become extinct and many are 



48 I 92 P a g e 



being so depleted that extinction is probable. But still millions in the districts mentioned 
above depend on fishing for livelihood. 

SEA COAST 

Being a delta region Bangladesh is blessed with a coastal line rich in nutrients for the fish. 
But here again over-fishing has had its toll. Catches are becoming smaller and smaller. 
Many millions inhabiting the coastal areas depend on the seas for their livelihood. 

GAS 

As per Petrobangia estimates the remaining reserve of proven + probable gas is 16,739.44 
billion cubic feet. The total production and consumption in 2011-12 was 708.90 billion cubic 
feet. Further explorations are being conducted by BAPEX (onshore) and Conoco Phillips 
(offshore). Optimists and pessimists are at odds on further discoveries of large fields of gas. 
For long-term policy decisions it is safer to err on the pessimistic side than on the optimistic. 
Policy makers should consider further discoveries a bonus than to take them in policy 
decisions. That means gas reserve will run out, at the present rate of production and 
consumption in 24 years. 

One kilo-watt hour of electricity production consumes about 8 eft of gas and one ton of urea 
fertilizer requires 33,500 eft of gas. 

COAL 

According to Petrobangia statistics the probable reserves in the five fields discovered till date 
- Khalashpur, Baropukuria, Fulbari, Dighipara&Jamalpur - together is estimated at 3.3 
billion metric tons. So far there has been no political will to mine for this reserve of coal. One 
ton of coal produces 6.67 kilo-watt per hour electricity. 

Judging from electricity consumption of other developing countries we would need to 
generate at least 30,000 MW (from current 5,000MW) of electricity by 2050 if we are to 
maintain a minimum standard of living. The average per capita consumption (watts per 
person) for some countries are shown below. 



Malaysia 


377 


Thailand 


225 


Vietnam 


127 


India 


107 


Indonesia 


65 


Pakistan 


44 


Sri Lanka 


44 


Bangladesh 


19 


The coal reser 


ve mentioned above will last for over 80 years with electricity production of 


30,000 MW. 




Now we are in 


2050: 


1 . Populat 


ion: 265,432,000 


2. Arable I 


-and area: 7,000,000 hectares (Reduced by 1 0%) 


3. Inland V 


Vater-Bodies: Depleted of all fish 


4. Coastal 


Sea: Substantially depleted of fish 


5. Gas: 


Reserves emptied since last 10 years 


6. Coal: 


3.3 billion tons in reserve 



Rice production has gone drastically because there is no foreign exchange to import 
fertilizer. There is no electricity, no industry, no jobs, no schools; with 50% of the population 



49 I 92 P a g e 



starving and 30% ill-fed and utter lawlessness. Conditions are ripe for a peoples' revolution. 
Remember the French Revolution of 1789-1799? 

What and who will survive the revolution is anybody's guess. 

WHAT THEN SHOULD THE POLICY MAKERS DO NOW: 

They should plan for the survival of the Bangladeshi people for at the least 100 years from 
now based on available statistics. Unfortunately the much trumpeted multi-party system 
allows for policy makers to plan for five years only; the term of their governance. The long 
term planning institution MUST not be affected by change in governments or ministers or 
bureaucrats. 

Assuming one such long term planning institution does come into being; then what would be 
its priorities and short-medium-long term policies. 

I would venture to put population control at the top of the ladder; followed by: 

1. Coal Mining 

2. Restoration of the wetlands and inland water-bodies to their natural state 

3. Set policies to stimulate local manufacture and production; get out of WTO. 

4. Expand technical and scientific education 

5. Entice NRB's to return to their homeland with their money and technological & 
financial expertise. 

6. Expand Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation with scientists and 
engineers who can guide small and cottage industries entrepreneurs with technical 
knowledge. 

7. Expand BRRI which is already doing a fine job. 

8. Re-vitalize BADC and take out the fertilizer importation and distribution from out of 
the clutches of corrupt scruples businessmen. Fertilizer usage in a scientific method 
is the crying need of the day. 

9. Get bureaucrats out of the government and autonomous organizations and 
corporations and give these organizations and corporations full responsibility with 
financial autonomy. Let the governments and its bureaucrats restrict themselves to 
policy matters. 

10. Cut down on luxury imports. 

1 1 . Increase tariffs of gas & electricity to appropriate levels. 

12. Planning of cities is not enough; there should be country planning. In today's IT world 
virtual cities and countries can be created in hours. 

13. Take out the traffic planning from the police and put it under management of 
engineers and scientists and computer specialists. 

14. The last, but not the least, give back the ordinary workers (industrial workers, farm 
workers, rickshaw-pullers, laborers, et el) their DIGNITY. Any man/woman who earns 
his/her living honestly deserves his/her dignity. 

Every day, every hour, every minute and every second that we procrastinate will lead us to 
the inevitable. 

Our forefathers left us a place we now hail as SONAR BANGLA, but what are we 
leaving for our posterity; the inevitable peoples' revolution? 
Our posterity will curse those in governance to hell! 



50 I 92 P a g e 



DEMOCRACY - A CRITIQUE 

Today's papers and magazines are replete with articles championing the virtues of Democracy. 
The western world is provoking covertly, on occasions openly, Asian and African populace to 
demand fordemocracy in their countries. 

I would like to place before you some observations/quotations on democracy made by renowned 
philosophers, statesmen and thinkers on Democracy. 

Plato's Ship Analogy : Democratic self-government does not work, according to Plato, because 
ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with 
such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing 
intricacies of law and ethics. They are not inclined to acquire such knowledge. The effort and self- 
discipline required for serious study is not something most people enjoy. In their ignorance they 
tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and inevitably 
find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control 
because they do not understand what is happening around them. They are guided by unreliable 
emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized 
by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided. 

Plato in the Republic : As a just and healthy person is governed by knowledge and reason, a just 
society must be under the control of society's most cultivated and best informed minds, "lovers of 
wisdom". Just societies cannot be run by big money "lovers of money" or by armed forces "lovers 
of honor" with their narrow agendas. Limitless desire for wealth and blind ambition must be 
watched and contained as potential public dangers. The most informed minds must determine 
objectively, with due consideration of all points of view, what the most healthy and practical goals 
for the commonwealth are. 

James Madison:A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the 
power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of 
acquiring it is but prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. 

Commentary : The challenge that Plato's critique of democracy still poses is the question whether 
the citizens of today' democracies are interested and informed enough to participate meaningfully 
in the democratic process. Are today's self-proclaimed democracies in fact societies where people 
are "their own governors" — where they are well enough informed to be effectively in control of their 
commonwealth and their lives? Do the citizens of these societies really understand why wars are 
declared, resources committed, debts incurred, relations denied, and so forth? Could it be that a 
majority of citizens live in cognitive haze that reduces them to voting on the basis of uninformed 
convictions, catchy slogans, and altogether vague hunches and feeling? 

Commentary : Hitler, it is worth remembering, was elected by a democratic vote, and it is surely 
not irrelevant to ask whether those who voted for him did not suffer from an unacceptable degree 
of ignorance and lack of political education. 

Lee Kuan Yew &Mahatir bid Mohamad: both claimed in the 1990's that Asian values were 
significantly different from western values and included a sense of loyalty and foregoing personal 
freedoms for sake of social stability and prosperity, and therefore authoritarian government is more 
appropriate in Asia than democracy. 



51 I 92 P a g e 



Quotes on the character and nature of democracy 

H.L. Mencken : Under democracy one party devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the 
other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. 

H.L. Mencken : Government (democratic) is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of 
advance auction in stolen goods. 

H.L. Mencken : Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and 
deserve to get it good and hard. 

H.L. Mencken : Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage. 

H.L. Mencken : Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. 

Walter Lippman : What the public does is not to express its opinion but to align itself for or against 
a proposal. If that theory is accepted, we must abandon the notion that democratic government 
can be the direct expression of the will of the people. We must abandon the notion that the people 
govern. Instead, we must adopt the theory that, by their occasional mobilizations as a majority, 
people support or oppose the individuals who actually govern. We must say that the popular will 
does not direct continuously but that it intervenes occasionally. 

Bernard Shaw : Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent 
many for appointment by the corrupt few. 

Thomas Jefferson : A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the 
people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. 

John Simon : Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is 
ignorant. 

Clement Atlee : Democracy means government by discussion, but it is effective if you can stop 
people talking. 

Rivarol: The absolute ruler may be a Nero, but he is sometimes a Titus or Marc Aurelius; the 
people is often Nero, but never Marc Aurelius. 

James Madison : Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the 
rights of the minor party, but by superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. A pure 
democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt 
by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it 
is, that democracies have ever found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; 
and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. 

Karl Kraus : Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave. 

Padraig Deignan: Democracy is the counting of heads, not what's in them! 

H.L. Mencken : Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. 
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. Democracy is only 
a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus, and Heaven. Democracy 
is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. Democracy is the theory that 
the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Every decent man 
is ashamed of the government he lives under. Every normal man must to tempted, at times, to spit 
in his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. 

52 I 92 P a g e 



Friedrich Nietzsche : That which now calls itself democracy differs from older forms of 
government solely in that it drives with new horses: the streets are the same old streets, and the 
wheels are likewise the same old wheels. 

David Friedman : "democratic" decision making is a means for finding and implementing the will 
of the majority; is has no other function. It serves, not to encourage diversity, but to prevent it. 

Fred Reed : The proper response toward what we occasionally imagine to be democracy, 
methinks, is to retain one's self respect by not participating in it. Voting in particular is an 
embarrassment, being a public display of weak character and low intelligence. Let us face the 
truth: Democracy, like spitting in public or the Roman games, is the proper activity of the lower 
intellectual and moral classes. It amounts to collusion in one's own suckering. Those who wash 
regularly should not stoop to democracy. 

Thomas Carlyle : I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. 

John Stuart IV!acl<enzie : Tyranny is usually tempered with assassination and Democracy must 
be tempered with culture. In the absence of this, it turns into a representation of collective folly. 

Unknown : Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a 
well-armed lamb contesting the vote. 

Keith Preston : It is a logical absurdity to equate democracy with freedom in the way that 
mainstream political philosophers and commentators typically do. A system where individuals and 
minorities are at the mercy of unconstrained majorities hardly constitutes freedom in a meaningful 
way. 

L.A. Rollins : Democracy is government of the sheep, by the shepherds, for the wolves. 

Victor Hugo : Now, get seven million five hundred thousand votes to declare that two and two 
make five, that the straight line is the longest road, that the whole is less than its part; get it 
declared by eight millions, by ten millions, by a hundred million votes, you will not have advanced 
a step. Well, then, now you are going to be surprised. There are axioms in probity, in honesty, in 
justice, as there are axioms in geometry; and the truths of morality are no more at the mercy of a 
vote than are the truths of algebra. The notion of good and evil cannot be resolved by universal 
suffrage. It is not given to a ballot to make the false become true and the unjust the just. The 
human conscience cannot be put to vote. 

Jonathan David Morris : We talk about democracy as if it's a safeguard for individual rights... 
Instead, it's become our way of intruding on rights, allegedly in the name of that most collectivist 
concepts:The Common Good. 

John T. Wenders : There is a difference between democracy and freedom. Freedom is not 
measured by the ability to vote. It is measured by the breadth of those things on which we do not 
vote. Freedom must be protected from democracy. 

Mohammad Iqbal : The intellect of two thousand asses cannot bring forth a single man's thought. 
Democracy is a system where people are counted not weighed. 

Winston Churchill : The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the 
average voter. 

Stephen Townshend : Democracy doesn't favour the individual above all else; nor does it 
promise to. One of it's greatest failings is that single voices of reason are too easily drowned out 
by the cacophony of the masses. 

53 I 92 P a g e 



William J. Murray : Good, law-abiding, value oriented citizens are the ultimate in hypocrisy; 
"majority rules" and the law are exactly the same as being the biggest bully on the block with the 
biggest stick - it is might that allows one group to force another to live by its code of conduct. 

Some others: 

• Democracy is people taking liberties with others' freedom via the ballot box. 

• Democracy, properly understood, is NOT synonymous with liberty. In fact, the two often 
clash. 

• Gang rape is democracy in action. 



54 I 92 P a g e 



CRISIS IN DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM 

I posit that "Democracy and Capitalism" is a letlial combination. 

Let us look into these two terms "Democracy" and "Capitalism" stripped of its veneer. 

Democracy is a much heralded term and the Democracy in America is considered the 
ultimate in governance. Everyone knows about the American system; for it is considered the 
ideal. There are two major parties: Democrats and Republicans. Every four years these two 
major contenders vie for the votes of the public. A portion of the American public are either 
Democratic or Republican by tradition; most of them steadfast but some waiver in their 
allegiance. Then there is the larger proportion of average Americans who are not committed 
to any of these two parties but make a choice come every election come four years. Now 
what are the parameters by which these average Americans to make theirchoice. They want 
a decent life: job, good pay, social security, schools and colleges for their children, 
affordable medicare, security at home and at work and many others that make up for a 
decent and sustained living. The average American is not disposed to learn or know about 
the economy of the country: how much dollars are in circulation, earnings of the government 
from income taxes, import-export balances, financial disciplines, deficit budgets, and many 
other complex and complicated matters that the people running the affairs of a country need 
to know and be well-informed. Come election day and they take into consideration: whether 
their lives have been comfortable under the immediate government, which party promises 
tax cuts on either the poor or the rich and the like. The party that promises to enhance their 
decent living to a more comfortable one gets their vote. Pretty simple and straight-forward. 

Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of 
production and the creation of goods and services for profit. It is a system characterized by 
private or corporate ownership of capital goods by investments that are determined by 
private decisions, and by prices, production and distribution of goods that are determined 
mainly by competition in a free market. A good economic system is non-political by 
definition. Governments can facilitate the economic system but not interfere in its workings. 
Excepting a few cases, the private owners and corporate are motivated and driven by greed. 
Then add to that a financial system that has crept into the capitalism that neither produces 
goods and services nor, by itself, contribute directly to a nation's economy in the 
conventional sense. 

A country's government depends on revenues earned by taxing its citizens, businesses, 
production and distribution of goods and services. These revenue earnings must necessarily 
be distributed and spent on running the affairs of the country: maintaining well-armed forces, 
law and order in the country, infrastructures, social services, hospitals, medicare, etc.. 
Obama's budget for 2012 shows revenue earnings of US$ 2.627 trillion against an 
expenditure of US4 3.729 trillion ( a deficit of US$ 1 .102 trillion). 

So the government is placed in a no-win situation. On the one hand it cannot interfere with 
the capitalist economic system it has adopted and, on the other hand, has to placate the 
voting public with expenses it can ill afford. To advocate austerity will be to lose the election. 
Since the early seventy's every successive government has been running a deficit budget in 
the tune of US$ 1 trillion a year. The same is the situation in the European countries. 

55 I 92 P a g e 



The table below illustrates the financial statistics of the western countries (multi-party 
democracies). 



COUNTRY 


GDP in Billion 

$ 


FOREX in 
Billions 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT in Billion 

$ 


PUBLIC DEBT 
in Billion $ 


EU Countries 


16,242 


925 


13,720 


12,993 


USA 


14,526 


146 


15,571 


13,706 


Germany 


3,286 


263 


4,713 


2,758 


France 


2,562 


185 


4,698 


2,109 


UK 


2,250 


124 


8,981 


1,699 


Italy 


2,055 


187 


2.223 


2,445 


Spain 


1,410 


49 


2,166 


846 


Netherlands 


780 


56 


2,344 


496 


Poland 


469 


100 


253 


258 


Belgium 


468 


31 


1,241 


454 


Sweden 


459 


50 


853 


184 


Greece 


305 


7 


533 


435 


Portugal 


229 


24 


497 


213 


Ireland 


207 


2 


2,378 


197 


China 


7,298 


3,305 


635 


1970 



(source : Wikipedia & CIA fact book) 

The figures above are based on 2010 statistics. Since then the situation has worsened in 
America and European countries. Today the public debt in the US is around US$ 16.10 
trillion. The figures for China has improved. Today the GDP of China is around US$ 11 
trillion. 

Whilst the finances of countries like Greece, Spain, Italy and other Euro countries are taking 
a nose dive the finances of USA is at the edge of the cliff. 



56 I 92 P a g e 



THE DELUSION 

When I say "Multi-party Democracy" the immediate response is "Freedom" 

When I say "Single Party Democracy" the immediate response is "Authoritarian". 

The word "Democracy" is composed of two elements of the Greek words: 'demo' which 
means 'people or public' and 'kratos' which means 'power'. By definition democracy means" 
peoples power". 

In its idealistic form every person of the community takes part in the deliberations and 
decisions of the affairs of the community. In the present complex world this is not achievable 
as the affairs of the state requires information and knowledge in international affairs, 
economics, financial practices, resources, criminal and civil laws, etc., which are beyond the 
competence of an ordinary citizen. An ordinary person has neither the time, nor disposition 
nor capability to acquire all those knowledge and information. One must bear in mind that 
countries are co-operating but at the same time competing for scarce resources and 
markets. 

The countries that go by "democracy" are really not "democracies" but merely 
approximations to "democracy". Democratic societies contain elements of both collectivism 
and individualism. 

Allied to the above definitions we must now consider the definitions of "collectivism" and 
"individualism" 

Collectivism is any philosophic, political, religious, economic or social outlook that 
emphasizes the interdependence of every human being. 

Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology or social outlook that 
stresses the moral worth of the individual. 

The eastern culture has always emphasized the interdependence of every human beings 
and thereby we have always adopted the "collectivism" philosophy. Whist the western 
culture has always emphasized the moral worth of the individual and thereby have always 
adopted the "individualism" philosophy. In plain language the eastern culture places the 
society above the individual whilst the western culture places the individual before society. 
As to why this is so we must go back to thousands of years of human evolution and trace 
back the anthropology and neuro-anthropology and history of our forefathers; the scope of 
which is beyond this article. Suffice it to say that our societies' are different due to evolution 
under different conditions. 

The question as to which of these two is better or has more merits is debatable and we can 
go on debating till the end of this world. 

As mentioned above, democratic societies contain elements of both collectivism and 
individualism. The difference is the extent of content of each in the system. 

The western multi-party system lays more emphasis on the individual whilst the single-party 
lays more on the society. 

We have no other means of judging the merits of multi-party against the single-party 
democracies than to look at the statistics of today's world. 

57 I 92 P a g e 



The table below sliows the financial statistics of the major countries. 



COUNTRY 


GDP in Billions 


FOREX in 
Billion $ 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT in Billions 


PUBLIC DEBT 
in Billions 


EU Countries 


16,242 


925 


13,720 


12,993 


USA 


14,526 


146 


15,571 


13,706 


Germany 


3,286 


263 


4,713 


2,758 


France 


2,562 


185 


4,698 


2,109 


UK 


2,250 


124 


8,981 


1,699 


Italy 


2,055 


187 


2.223 


2,445 


Spain 


1,410 


49 


2,166 


846 


Netherlands 


780 


56 


2,344 


496 


Poland 


469 


100 


253 


258 


Belgium 


468 


31 


1,241 


454 


Sweden 


459 


50 


853 


184 


Greece 


305 


7 


533 


435 


Portugal 


229 


24 


497 


213 


Ireland 


207 


2 


2,378 


197 


China 


7,298 


3,305 


635 


1970 



(source : Wikipedia & CIA fact book) 



The percentage of the population below the poverty line in USA and China are 12% and 
2.8% respectively. 

Consider the fact that USA and EU Countries had a head start over China in industrialization 
and technology. 

Above statistics clearly shows that China has performed better than the western countries. 

So, why is this euphoria with Multi-party system and condemnation of the Single-party 

system? 

The fact that we have been educated in English language and are more familiar with the 

western ways coupled with the fact that we get our values from the western media is 

perhaps the reason for this delusion. 



58 I 92 P a g e 



DEMOCRACY, LIBERALISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

SBJECTS OF DEBATE: 

1 . DOES IDEAL DEMOCARCY EXIST 

2. WHAT IS LIBERAL-DEMOCRACY 

3. IS THERE NONLIBERAL-DEMOCRACY 

4. DOES LIBERALISM LEAD TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

5. DOES LIBERALISM LEAD TO ECONOMIC DOWNTURN 

6. DOES ECONOMIC DEVELOMENT LEAD TO LIBERALISM 

7. DOES ECONOMIC TURNDOWN LEAD TO LESS LIBERALISM 

DOES IDEAL DEMOCRACY EXIST 

I posit that Ideal Democracy is a concept tliat cannot be achieved and practiced in the 
present complex world. 

Democracy exists only in its approximated form. There is a dominant tendency to advocate 
that only a multi-party system and the methodology of establishing it is democratic and that 
the single-party system is not. This is a biased assumption with political intonations and does 
not stand critical examination. Both multi-party and single-party system of governance by 
representation are approximations to democracy. 

WHAT IS LIBERAL-DEMOCRACY 

"Liberal-democracy" is a misnomer. Democracy is democracy; neither liberal nor 
conservative. UK has three major political parties: labour, conservative and liberal. The last 
named party is always in the fringes; so does it mean UK is less liberal? 

Actually 'liberal democracy' is carefully constructed to mislead the public into its import. What 
otherwise grammatically correct term would be 'liberal and democratic'. 

Now let us see the definition of 'liberal'. The best definition I have found is in a negated form: 
not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes. 

In the positive form "liberal' means 'licentious'. Western authors are extremely reluctant to 
equate 'liberal' with 'radical' and some would go to pains to explain in abstract hypothesis 
the difference between the two. 

Now, if 'not liberal' can be grouped with 'authoritarian', what holds back from grouping 
'liberalism' with 'radicalism'? 

In any discussion a precise understanding of the terminology is in order; or else no 
conclusion can be reached. 

WHAT IS NON-LIBERAL-DEMOCRACY 

I have not across this word in political discourses and it can be assumed this term does not 
exist. By inference "liberal democracy" is a misnomer. 



59 I 92 P a g e 



DOES LIBERALISM LEAD TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

Studies by competent analysts show that liberalism does not lead to economic 
developments. 

DOES LIBERALISM LEAD TO ECONOMIC DOWNTURN 

It's only been four years since the US financial crisis which could have led to worldwide 
recession and accompanying hardship to almost all the people of the world. Today Euro- 
Zone is reeling under a formidable financial crisis and might still trigger a worldwide 
recession. These financial crisis are due mostly to the financial liberalism as well as non- 
financial liberalism. Some say there has been "too much liberalism" that was the cause. Now 
"how much liberalism" is "good liberalism" and "how much less liberalism" is "not liberalism"? 

DOES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LEAD TO LIBERALISM 

Studies do indicate that economic development does promote liberalism. Economic 
emancipation lifts a great load off a person's mind. He can look at the world with a satisfying 
eye and feel generous; this generosity begets liberalism. Remember a German joke in the 
late eighties, when there was a worldwide financial crisis and Germany was one of the 
countries badly affected, about shipwreck of Turkish migrants? About four hundred Turks 
were smuggling to enter into German by a ship which got wrecked. The joke was that the 
shipwreck of four hundred people was a "tragedy" but that these four hundred Turks were 
able to swim ashore in Germany was a "catastrophe". Since then, German economy has 
picked up, and thousands of Turks have migrated to Germany where they were openly 
received. 

DOES ECONOMIC TURNDOWN LEAD TO LESS LIBERALISM 

I would hate to be in the shoes of Asians now living comfortably in Europe and America if, 
and when, the financial crisis spills over from Euro-Zone to America and suddenly people 
start losing their jobs and means of survival! Greece was one of the most liberal countries in 
Europe; in the last election a hard-line party which promised to expel all migrants won 
eighteen seats. Today there are reports of frequent Xenophobic attacks on migrant workers 
in Greece. Optimists may rubbish this as purely accidental incidents and not a norm. I hope 
they are correct; but indications ignored could lead to grief. 



60 I 92 P a g e 



MY UNDERSDTANDING OF BUDDHISM 

To understand Buddhism one has to bear in mind that the reason Buddha renounced his 
princely status and wandered for years was to search for origin of the sufferings that he saw 
in his people. His search was not to find the meaning of life or to find out its origin; but simply 
to find the causes of sufferings that human beings experience if life and the right pathto free 
oneself from such sufferings. 

Volumes have been written on Buddhism and I have tried reading many. But on each 
occasion I find myself unable to proceed further when I come across, and invariably do come 
across, the doctrine on Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada) being interpreted to 
mean birth and rebirth of life in the conventional sense. The basic doctrine "Anatta" of 
Buddha stands negated by this interpretation. 

Buddha's enlightenment came from his understanding of the mind. Mind is defined in 
Buddhism as being a non-physical phenomena which perceives, thinks, recognizes, 
experiences and reacts to the object (environment). It is there when consciousness arises 
and passes away when consciousness ceases. It is a never ending cycle of birth, death and 
rebirth. The mind (origination of all things) arises upon consciousness dependent on the 
particular phenomena (object) and state of mental formation. This, I understand to mean 
Dependent Origination. 

Many neurologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and phenomenologists, individually or in 
partnerships have tried to understand the mind and its relation with the brain and they have 
produced volumes of research papers and articles. But none has been able to claim his 
theory to be correct. The question is there without a universally accepted answer. 

The interdependency of the brain, consciousness and mind cannot be studied in the 
laboratory. The physical brain can be taken out of the skull, bisected and dissected still it will 
not yield the answer. Probes can be connected to various parts of the brain and neurological 
actions of the brain can be recorded but still this, together with the anatomy, does not yield 
the answer. It is only by subjective reduction that answer to the question is possible. The 
presence of the following defilements in the mental formation makes it impossible: 

1 . Greed (Lobha) 

2. Anger, hate (dosa) 

3. Delusion, illusion (moha) 

4. Conceit (mana) 

5. Wrong views (micchaditthi) 

6. Doubt (vicikiccha) 

7. Torpor (thinam) 

8. Restlessness (uddhaccam) 

9. Shamelessness (ahirikam) 

10. Recklessness (anottappam) 

It is only when one's mental formation is freed of these defilements can one understand the 
interdependency between brain, consciousness and mind. 

After renouncing his princely status, Siddartha wandered for years trying to find the truth of 
suffering. Siddartha ultimately came to Bodh Gaya where he found a suitable place for 
meditation. There he remained, emphasizing a meditation called "space-like concentration 
on the Dharmakaya" in which he focused single-pointedly on the ultimate nature of all 
phenomena. After training in his meditation for six years he realized he was close to 

61 I 92 P a g e 



attaining full enliglitenment. He tlien went to Bodli Gaya and seated himself under the Bodhi 
Tree and continued his meditation until he entered the space-like concentration of the 
Dharmakya. It was then that Siddartha gained enlightenment and became the Buddha. 

The Enlightenment that: "All things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by 
the mind". Suffering can be mitigated by cleansing the mind of the defilements mentioned 
above. All teachings following this enlightenment are corollaries for practices to be followed 
for this cleansing of the mind. 

DEPENDENT ORGINATION 

Buddha was the world's first Phenomenologist; the study of the structure of subjective 
experience and consciousness (mind). 

"All things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by the mind". 

"The mind is formless, shapeless, colourless and allows for consciousness to arise in it and 
engage with the phenomena(objects as interpreted by human sensibility and understanding). 

Mind is defined in Buddhism as a non-physical phenomenon which perceives, thinks, 
recognizes, experiences and reacts to the environment. It is there and yet it is not there, it 
arises and passes away to arise again and pass away again, and so on and so on. It is a 
never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The mind arises when with consciousness of 
an object. The mind (origination of all things) arises dependent on the particular phenomena 
(object). Thoughts, perceptions, emotions finally follow from the particular phenomenon from 
which the mind arose. 

This, I hold true to be, is what Buddha meant in Paticcasamuppada - dependent origination. 

The doctrine preached by Buddha would be negated if dependent origin is to mean physical 
birth and death and rebirth. 

FREE WILL 

The first verse of Dhamapada reads: 

"All things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by the mind." 

But the Mind itself is subjective to the mental formations; of which Buddha had enumerated 
52 states. Consciousness of an object would be, depending upon which of the mental states 
at that time and space is active, will direct the mind and volition to action. So from the time of 
arising of consciousness there are 52 possibilities for volition to take control. 



62 I 92 P a g e 



DOWNSIDE IN MEDIUM OF TEACHING IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE 

The reader will think I must be nuts to even spare a thought against learning in the English 
language. Of course English is the international language and a tool to success in life. You 
are fluent in English and you automatically get preference for a job over someone who is not. 
The English language allows one access to modern science and technology and, also 
importantly, to the world of financial institutions. 

This perception is common to us in the subcontinent. 

Ever wonder how Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, Thais, etc. are economically 
and technologically superior to us? Peoples' in these countries are educated in their own 
mother tongue and know very little English. 

We simply are overlooking the fact that language is more than getting jobs; that it plays a 
vital part in the development of the brain and thereby mental faculties. A child learns to 
interpret into language the emotions, sentiments and abstract thoughts by imitating their 
parents and elders in the language that they speak. These emotions, sentiments and 
abstract thoughts are linked in the brain with language. A child's language development is 
crucial to its intellectual development and vice-versa. By interacting with its environment, a 
child develops the ability to develop private inner speech. "Inner speech is thinking in pure 
meanings; it is the link between the secondary signal system of the social world and the 
thought of the individual"; Barry J. Zimmerman and Dale H. Schunk. Through the 
development of inner speech, children straddle the divide between thought and language, 
eventually being able to express their thoughts coherently to others. 

Think of the brain (mind) as the biggest library where your library card is the language. 

A society best expresses, and thereby propagates, its culture and creativity through 
language. 

Now let us have a look at a Bengali child who is, from a very young age, taught with English 
language as the medium of teaching (English medium schools). This may have been less 
harmful had the courses had not been those prescribed by Oxford or Cambridge and books, 
in English language, were written by Bengali authors and upon matters typically Bengali. 
Unfortunately the books used in our English medium schools are written by English authors 
on English matters. Hidden inside the apparently harmless words and descriptions is the 
English culture. Unknowingly the child's mental faculties start to lean towards the culture of 
the language represents. By the time the child completes its high school he/she is no longer 
a typical Bengali person rich in Bengali culture. On the other hand he/she has developed 
mental an alien culture. He/she identifies himself/herself by English culture. He/she sees no 
disadvantage in that; but rather the advantage as he/she sees that the English educated get 
better jobs. 

Apart from causing disharmony in his immediate family or in the society, financial outlook is 
comparatively brighter for the English educated. What they do not realize is that they have 
missed out on the rich culture of their forefathers, their society, their country and the region. 
They have missed out on the rich Bengali literature and writings of famous Bengali 
philosophers, writers and teachers: Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul and many 

63 I 92 P a g e 



others. They perhaps do not realize that they have missed out on age old Bengali adages, 
proverbs, idioms and axioms which are rich in Bengali wisdom, culture and philosophy, in 
ways, reflecting Bengali outlook. 

In our school days there were just a few schools teaching in English medium. My friends 
from mofusil schools, where the medium of teaching was in Bengali with English as second 
language, who joined us in college life barely spoke English and were a little better off in 
reading and writing. But by the time we graduated from the universities these friends could 
read and write as well as those from English medium schools, though not that fluent in 
speech. Some friends went abroad to do higher studies where quite a few stayed back. 
These friends now read, write and speak as fluently, if not better, than the English. 

I, having been schooled in an English medium school, envy these friends. I envy them for 
their richness in Bengali culture, which I missed, and, at the same time, can express 
themselves, both written and verbal, equally, if not better, than me in the English language. 



64 I 92 P a g e 



FALLACY OF DEMOCRACY 

The word "democracy" combines two elements (Greek) demos (which means "people") 
and/cratos (which means "force" or "power"); "people force" or "people power". It is an ideal 
egalitarian form of government in which all the citizens of a nation together determine public 
policy, the laws and actions of the state, requiring that all citizens have an equal opportunity 
to express their opinion. 

In practice, "democracy" is the extent to which a given system approximates this ideal, and a 
given political system is referred to as "a democracy" if it allows a certain approximation to 
ideal democracy. 

The most common system that is deemed "democratic" in the current concept is 
parliamentary democracy and presidential democracy in which the voting public takes part in 
elections and chooses politicians to represent them. The problem starts from here. 

No less a person than James Madison maintained "A people who mean to be their own 
governor must arm themselves with the power of knowledge gives. A popular government 
without the knowledge or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; 
or perhaps both". Ask yourself 'oh you' the public! Are you knowledgeable and informed on 
state affairs such as economy, international finance, trade balance, resource management, 
criminal and civil laws, international politics, etc., etc., etc.. If I were to ask whether you know 
what are hedge fund, derivatives, futures contracts, Incoterms, deficit budget, surplus 
budget, GDP, public debt, external debt, forex reserves, etc., etc.; could you realistically give 
answers? In all likelihood you will say it does not concern you. You are happy to do your 
share of the day's work to earn a living for your family, and that's all it counts. At the end of 
your work you are satisfied to sit back and watch the entertainment and news dished out in 
the television. It is not far-fetched to see today's television consumers as masses of mental 
prisoners who get their values and views of the world from the images and programs that 
powerful corporations or governments keep feeding into their minds. Most viewers are in no 
position, nor have the disposition, to check the facts. I would request the reader to look up 
the functions of the parliament in our constitution. According to Bangladesh constitution a 
parliament member is required to perform the following functions: 

1 . Enactment of Legislation 

2. Consent to Taxation and Control of Public Expenditure 

3. Ensuring Accountability of the Government. 

Just as an academic interest we may compare the above with those written in the Indian 
constitution: 

1 . Controlling the Executive 

2. Law Making 

3. Controlling the Finance 

4. Raising Deliberations 

5. Constituent Functions 

6. Electoral Functions 

7. Judicial Functions 

It goes without saying a member of the parliament has to fully conversant in law, finance and 
management to discharge his functions. Now tell me how many of the parliament members 
in Bangladesh actually qualify to discharge the functions he is elected for. 



65 I 92 P a g e 



And you still claim to live in a "democracy". 

You are beguiled by the high standards of living in the western democracies and presume 
prosperity comes with democracy. You cannot be more wrong. The end of the high standard 
of living in the west, which you so long for, is near. Look at Greece and Spain. UK and 
France are in recession. Do I need to draw any conclusions here? 

Prosperity of a country is independent of the democracy or for that matter oligarchy, 
monarchy, etc. 

I would like to end by quoting Plato : As a just and healthy person is governed by knowledge 
and reason, a just society must be under the control of society's most cultivated and most 
informed minds, its "lovers of wisdom". 



66 I 92 P a g e 



INCOMPLETE PERSON AND THE MAKING OF A DE-CULTURIZED 

& DE-SOCIALIZED WORLD 

I posit that: 

• a human being born and brought up in cities are incomplete persons 

• The world is heading towards a de-cultured & de-socialized place 

I hold to be true that a human being becomes the person that he is by growing up in a 
particular community, learning to speak the language, and to participate in the life of the 
community. There must be some community for him to grow up in, if he is to become the 
person and, in more than purely zoological sense, a humane being at all. The community he 
grows up makes an important difference. If his native community had been different, in all 
important respects he would be a different person from the one he has in fact become. So 
would many of the ideas, beliefs and values in terms of which he has been brought up to 
think and to act. He is always a product of some social and cultural melieu. Different 
traditions and cultures and civilizations are different ways of being human. 

A child born in a village becomes aware of the village life immediately on birth. There are 
aunts, uncles, grandparents, relatives and friends of the family constantly coming and going, 
cuddling and consoling the child. Other mothers bring their children to introduce the 
newborn. The mother or relatives are carrying it in visits to relatives and friends where the 
child's mental faculties are exposed to the outside relationships When the child is able to 
walk the whole village is free for it to roam and play with other children. It learns the 
hierarchy of the children structure; not to annoy the older children and with whom to form 
allies. At an early age the child is participating in the village functions and rituals and learns 
to respect the elders and to obey its parents. At this early age the child learns the values of 
sharing. He learns the language of the mental faculties and forms ideas, beliefs and values. 
By the age of seven or eight (empiricalevidence) the foundation is set for the child to develop 
into a person: a humane being; because it has developed the sense of belongingness to a 
certain community - that the community cares for it and expects the child to reciprocate. 

Now consider the child born in a city. Its parents relative and friend circle is limited and it 
contact with persons other than its parents or/and the ayah. Often the parents are too busy 
with their work, especially where both parents work, and its companion is the ayah. Now the 
ayah is a servant of the house and the child notices that the ayah obeys the parents and, on 
occasions gets scolded or, in rare cases beaten. This observance leads the child's mental 
faculties to take note of this. To overcome the situation parents put their children in day 
cares, kindergartens, etc. where the child can meet play with other children. But these are 
conducted in controlled environments and do not reflect true relationships. Real and lasting 
friendships with a sense of sharing are very rare. By the age of seven or eight the child has 
not developed any sense of belongingness to particular traditional cultures and values and 
has not learnt to reciprocate. 

The child born in the city and brought up in it often does better in life than the child born and 
brought in the village. But I hold true that the village child to develop to be a true person 
(humane being) and the city child a purely zoological product. 

Without the strong roots of human bondage a person is helpless in the present era of TV 
entertainment and brain washing. The city raised person is happy to do his share of the 
day's work to earn a living for the family, and that's all it counts. At the end of your work he 
or she is satisfied to sit back and watch the entertainment and news dished out in the 

67 I 92 P a g e 



television. It is not far-fetclied to see today's television consumers as masses of mental 
prisoners who get tlieir values and views of the world from the images and programs that 
powerful corporations or governments keep feeding into their minds. Most viewers are in no 
position, nor have the disposition, to check the facts. 

I hold one to be dishonest if he or she denies that he or she is not influenced by the western 
media that proclaims: 

• Single party system is evil 

• Only western type multi-party is good 

• The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is truly universal 

• That democracy will lead to economic development and hence can enjoy as the 
western nations do. 

I also hold one to be dishonest if he or she has any inkling of the above proclamations. The 
whites are enjoying the fruits of life so they must be right! 

This is not to say that only city boys will be influenced; the village boys will also be 
influenced but their roots will at the least try some form of reasoning. 

Unfortunately the way of our forefathers have dramatically changed over a few centuries. 
Our forefathers for milieu had lived in communes with ecological living as core principle. 

With industrialization came the capitalist system and human beings were downgraded into 
numbers. Human beings were further downgraded when economists and financial wizards 
categorized them into percentages. Urbanization in the last few decades has been very 
rapid. Over half the countries of the world the urbanized population is over fifty percent. 
Many of the less urbanized countries are urbanizing at alarming rates. Bangladesh is 169'^ in 
the ranking with an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent. It will not be very long before all 
countries of the world will be over seventy percent urbanized. 

What does it mean? The rich and powerful countries will set the tone of living in an 
urbanized world. But today those rich countries are facing economic turndown and herculean 
financial crisis. All the rich countries are now living on credit. 



The table below 
democracies). 


shows the financial statistics of 


the western countries (multi-party 


COUNTRY 


GDP in Billions 


FOREX in 
Billion $ 


EXTERNAL 
DEBT in Billions 


PUBLIC DEBT 
in Billions 


EU Countries 


16,242 


925 


13,720 


12,993 


USA 


14,526 


146 


15,571 


13,706 


Germany 


3,286 


263 


4,713 


2,758 


France 


2,562 


185 


4,698 


2,109 


UK 


2,250 


124 


8,981 


1,699 


Italy 


2,055 


187 


2.223 


2,445 


Spain 


1,410 


49 


2,166 


846 


Netherlands 


780 


56 


2,344 


496 


Poland 


469 


100 


253 


258 


Belgium 


468 


31 


1,241 


454 


Sweden 


459 


50 


853 


184 


Greece 


305 


7 


533 


435 


Portugal 


229 


24 


497 


213 


Ireland 


207 


2 


2,378 


197 


China 


7,298 


3,305 


635 


1970 



(source: Wikipedia & CIA fact book) 



68 I 92 P a g e 



The trend towards urbanization can still be reversed in many countries if our governments 
take a long term macro look at the world economy. We must not look for immediate results; 
rather we should look for policies to serve us a hundred years from now so we can proudly 
say to our children we are leaving them a better world than what we found it. 

Otherwise, I am afraid the world will become a de-cultured and de-socialized. 



FIRST INFORMATION REPORT (FIR) 



Very often we come across robberies and killings that are not investigated by the police on 
grounds that the police say is "nobody has filed an FIR?". The latest is about the driver of the 
vehicle carrying the APS of the then Railway Minister. 

Now what is this FIR? I looked up at the Wikipedia to get some information on what is FIR 
and found that this practice was only practiced in India, Pakistan & Bangladesh (British 
India) and Japan; a legacy of the British Rule whose police force was to support the British 
Rule and not to serve the country. Police during British rule were today's razakkars! 

I fail to understand why after over half a century we, an independent sovereign (so called!) 
country, did not see the irrelevance of an FIR? 

Unfortunately the least intelligent brains study law, which is left to the least brains, 
so when cut-and-paste of laws are the order of the day, what can we expect. 



69 I 92 P a g e 



MAN THE ANIMAL 

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, wrote: "Man is a social animal. He who lives without society 
is either a beast or God". This philosophical definition of mankind has since been in common 
usage with universal acceptance. 

A "social animal" is a loosely defined term for an organism that is highly interactive with other 
members of its species to the point of having a recognizable and distinct society. 

A "society" (human society) is a group of people related to each other through persistent 
relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject 
to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are 
characterized by patterns of relationships (social relationships) between individuals who 
share a distinct culture. 

In current usage, "culture" is that which distinguishes life in one group from another group, 
mental context, norms, institutions and physical objects. In the 20"^century culture emerged 
as a concept central to anthropology, encompassing all human phenomena that are not 
purely results of human genetics. 

Traditional culture consists of the beliefs and practices held or observed by specific human 
groups that have been passed down from their ancestors through their grandparents, 
parents and society around them. Traditional culture and "Genetic Resources" are important 
elements of the cultural heritage and the social and historical identity of a community. 

"Community" usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that share common 
values, beliefs and has social cohesion. 

Hence by deduction man to be "social animal" must live within a society sharing traditional 
culture in a community. 

To be a good "social animal", man must live in an ideal society of people related to each 
other through persistent relations and sharing the same traditional culture with its distinct 
beliefs and practices. 

Races from prehistoric times, whose cultures were not transgressed by cultures of 
conquering races still live in such communities. The indigenous peoples of South America 
are the remnants of such ideal communities and villages. It learns to accept the social order, 
beliefs and norms of the village. He grows up sharing the joys and hardships of the village; 
knowing, and accepting, that he is a part of that society with its traditional cultures, norms, 
practices and beliefs. His mind is conditioned by the society and the traditional culture. He is 
truly a "social animal". 

Unfortunately for the world different races have ventured out of their regional boundaries and 
conquered and superimposed their cultures on the vanquished. This is especially true of the 
Caucasoid and its sub-race The Aryans. Nowhere in the world is this influx of foreign races 
and vanquishing others than in India. In the period from 1500BC over a dozen invasions by 
the Aryans from west and central Asia took place; and each with each invasion the 
conquerors degraded the vanquished to lower status. This is why we have the formal and 
informal class system practiced in India. But over the years hybrid societies were formed 
followed by traditional cultures. This is true, varying in degrees to an extent, throughout the 
world. 



70 I 92 P a g e 



But with industrialization relationsliip between peoples were changed. People started leaving 
their villages and migrated to towns and cities. In these towns and cities places are crowded 
with people belonging to different rural areas and have no, or extremely little, relationships. 
This si no approximation the ideal village sustains the ideal society. When a child is born, it 
is born to the confinements of its parent's apartment or house. Relatives are few and visits 
by them are far in between. Neighbors move in and out, or your parents move in and out of 
apartments or houses. Lasting friendshipsare not possible. The child grows up in the 
insecurity of the city. The person it becomes has no human bondages and he has no 
obligation to society. He is an individual ready to fend himself against the city' as opposed to 
the village man who fends for his village. 

Today, over sixty percent of the people live in towns and cities. A strange culture called 
"Cyber culture" has now emerged. Here people meet other people over internet, without 
knowing anything about him. They share their views on subjects and matters that concern 
them without any attachment. They take comfort in simply knowing other people share their 
views. The neighbors around them, or their colleagues, no longer matter to them. They must 
seek solace on the internet. Migration into towns and cities is growing faster with each day, 
month and year. Very shortly we shall have over ninety percent of the population living in 
towns and cities; with no societies. 

Aristotle would have a different philosophical term to describe man today: "Man the animal". 



71 I 92 P a g e 



MANAGEMENT 

"Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people 
together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and 
effectively". 

For the present discussion I will limit management to management of industries and factories 
employing hundreds of employees. 

There are volumes written on strategies, organizational set ups, rules of procedure and' of 
late Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These tell you of incentives, benefits, motivational 
methods,et al to motivate the people who will together accomplish the desired goals and 
objectives. But very little is written on the humane side, from the psychological and 
philosophical point of view, on the motivation of the people. 

Firstly management depends on the character of the manager. If he is a person full of pride 
(a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, superiority, whether 
cherished in mind or displayed in bearing, conduct and action) then I suggest he discontinue 
reading. The essential character of the manager must be humility and sincerity. 

One common mis-conception is that management is about maneuvering people. Employees 
soon see through the maneuvering of the boss and they do not appreciate that. 

The manager must understand and appreciate what are the most important things that 
people cherish; the basics being: 

1. His dignity 

2. His name 

3. His skill 

In each and every interaction the manager must bear the above in mind. He will do well to 
bear in mind that his relationship with the worker(s) is that between an employer and an 
employee where both agreed that the employee will work for the employer and in return the 
employer will make a payment commensurate with the type and duration of work. Other than 
terminating the employment the manager has no more legal authority; in the eye of the law 
and in society you are both persons. 

The employee is primarily motivated if the employer treats him with dignity, addresses him 
by his name and appreciates his skills. Courtesy costs nothing. 

The manager must remember that the management and the employees are all together to 
attain the objective of the company; that it is the employees who achieve the production and 
management is there just to facilitate the employee in his work to achieve the goal. The 
employee feels satisfied if they see that the management and every other employee are 
working sincerely towards achieving the goal. Now here comes the 'catch point', is the 
management qualified to design and put a system in place where each and every employee 
knows what his job is and remains fully engaged. If one worker out of (say) one hundred 
remains idle then the work atmosphere is sure to collapse. 

It is essential that the workers are convinced they are working for the benefit of themselves 
and for their colleagues and not for the employer's benefit alone. This fosters team harmony 
and, more importantly, team responsibility in the workers. Errant workers will be self- 

72 I 92 P a g e 



disciplined by liis colleagues. To achieve this, the manager must ensure that they are 
appropriately remunerated commensurate with the company's profits. 

The manager (owner) must have one essential quality: he must trust his immediate sub- 
ordinates through whom he manages the organization. If there is lack of trust then there will 
surely be back-biting amongst the sub-ordinates that will invariably filter down the ranks. 

Immediately following the Second World War Taiwan was unable to even feed the 
population. Children of that time did not have the luxury of going to schools, colleges and 
universities; but all learnt their mother language (today you will find most Taiwanese of in 
their sixties can hardly understand, leave alone speak, English). Their first opportunity came 
by way of garments exports to USA and Europe. From that day Taiwan has not looked back. 
Today Taiwan ranks 5"^ in Foreign Exchange Reserves and 19"^ in GDP per capita at US$ 
37,720 (Bangladesh ranked 155'^ at US$ 1,693). How did they manage to achieve this in 
barely fifty years? They did not go to management schools or universities; leave alone 
Stanford or Harvard. It is DIGNITY of the people. The owners and management treated their 
employees with dignity. If you visit Taiwan you will not see the rich strutting like peacocks 
that we see every day in Bangladesh. Every person, rich and poor has his own dignity and 
you ignore this at your own peril. 

Bangladesh got this opportunity some twenty five years back but the opportunity was 
squandered. In Bangladesh there is no concept of an "employer" and an "employee" 
relationship; it is "master" and "servant" relationship. The owners have engaged ex-army 
officers to commander the factories; but the army is an institution quite different from 
factories. 



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MAN-MADE PERPETUAL POVERTY IN BANGLADESH 

First let us have a look what the statistics say. 

LAND FOR AGRICULTURE 

Population: 160 millions 

Total area : 143,998 square kilometers 

Land mass : 90.4 % = 130,174 sq. km. 

Water mass : 9.6% = 1 3,824 sq. km. 

Forest area : 6.7% of land mass = 8,722 sq. km. 

Agricultural area : 69.5% of land mass = 90,471 sq. km 

Arable area : 88.1 % of agricultural area = 79,705 sq. km. 

Rice production: 25 million tons (@ 6 tons per hectare) 

Assumption: 

• Farming families: 20 million (60% Of population and 5 members per family) 

That will calculate one farming family, at an average, owning 0.40 hectares and, at the rate 
of 6 tons per hectare, the family produces 2400 kilograms per annum. To keep the price 
down the government buys from farmers at Tk. 25 per kilogram. That means to family's 
earnings per annum is Tk.60,000 per annum. Now deduct the expenses for seeds, 
electricity, fertilizer, insecticides, feeds for the cows, etc., the family has hardly Tk30,000 per 
annum. This is far below the average earnings of the wage earners and laborers. Unless a 
miracle occurs the poor farmer is condemned to perpetual poverty. 

Now consider the banquets in parties, parties for guests and friends and the rich food the 
rich enjoy from the rice the poor farmer has produced. If this is not class oppression then the 
sun rises from the west. 

Now, why should this situation be allowed to continue or, are we like the ostrich hiding its 
head in the sand. 

Something has to be done to take these poor farmers out of their poverty. Hordes of them 
flock to the towns and cities only to become a degraded class of people; inferior human 
beings. He sweats driving a rickshaw; he is nameless and inhuman. People who wish to hire 
for a ride do not address him as to a person, not even a rickshaw puller, he is called 
"OIHKHAALI". Would any person with dignity do this? NO. But where is dignity in 
Bangladeshi It is oft and interred with the bones of our forefathers. 

Industrialization and hospitality business is definitely not the answer. Without energy and raw 
materials resources there can be only so many industries and businesses. 

Is the country's planners, economists and financial experts cannot find a solution then they 
are better of taking a long leave from the country or, is it that they never looked at the 
statistics and facts? Then they have been grossly negligent and owe an apology to the poor 
farmers and to the country. 

Yet we celebrate independence day and burst with pride (actually it is ego) in talking about 
the sovereignty of the country. Whose country and whose sovereignty are they celebrating 
and shouting! Definitely not the poor farmer the country has condemned to perpetual 
poverty. We shake with anger and call the speaker a racialist when told that Bengali's lack 
dignity. Well are those farmers not Bengalis? 

74 I 92 P a g e 



MICRO-CREDIT - WILL IT ERADICATE POVERTY 

I have come across debates and arguments as to whether it is good and, if so, will it 
eradicate poverty; or whether it is bad and, if so, whether it hurts the borrowers. 

By microcredit I understand the poorest of the poor are able to borrow modest amounts 
without collateral. I'll stand corrected if someone gives me understanding otherwise. 

I am not an economist but, having graduated in mechanical engineering from EPUET (now 
BUET) and having been in business for many years, I can lay claim to some knowledge in 
economics and finance. I tend to look at problems in a macro sense first before indulging in 
micro issues. 

Bangladesh today has a population of about 160 million (not accurate figure). Considering 
six members per family on an average, there would then be 26 million (figure rounded off) 
families. We know that ten percent of the families are very rich and about twenty percent 
poorest of the poor. That means 2.6 million families are very rich and 5.2 million extremely 
poor. 

Option 1 : Consider that each of the 2.6 million do not hesitate to loan the very poorest 

any sum around Bangladesh taka fifteen to twenty thousand at a very nominal 
interest rate (say five percent); provided the government guarantees 
repayment. By this way each of the poorest family's will be receiving 
Bangladesh taka 8,750 at an interest of 5%. 

Option 2: The government could do this by itself. It can simply print the required amount 

of around Bangladesh taka 45.50 billion (US$ 550 million; which is 
approximately 0.5% of the GDP) and give it to the poorest of the poor interest 
free. The Bangladesh bank may not like this move arguing that inflation will 
rise, but I should think it would be morally correct. 

Will this then lift the poorest of the poor from their poverty zone? If, by taking a similar 
amount of loan from an NGO at the interest rate of 32-35%, it does lift the poorest of the 
poor from poverty, then both options would do much better; option 2 being better than option 
1. 

I believe that every economist knows that there must be conditions existing whereby the taka 
8,750 can be made to generate more income. The conditions we are hearing are: 

1 . Buy two or three cows and their milk will give the requisite income. 

2. Raise chicken and the income will multiply as the umbers multiply. 

3. Buy sewing machines and earnings will come. 

4. Use the money to produce food items for sale. 

5. Etc. 

Each one of the above has its limitations. 

1 . Cows need grazing fields or collected hay and nutrients. 

2. Chickens are vulnerable to bird's flu. 

3. If every family has a sewing machine there will be no market. 

4. The profit margin may not be enough. 



75 I 92 P a g e 



Remember, we are not only talking about the taka 8,750 earning an income; this earning 
must be sufficient to feed and clothe the family and then leave a surplus. Poorest people are 
often vulnerable to diseases. Consider one member of the family becoming very ill, needing 
to see the doctor and pay for the medicine. Can that family resist from spending the 
borrowed money to pay for the doctor and medicines? 

I recall watching on the BBC program on microcredit in Africa where the family was 
castigated by the NGO staff for spending to treat the family's very sick daughter. Even the 
KABULIWALH would blush. 

My own experience relates to my friend (actually he is a friend I cannot make myself call him 
a cook; so I'll call him Barua). He has been in my family since 1956. When I started living on 
my own he has been with me. A modest and most humble of persons I know. 

Many years ago, unknown to me, his wife in the village borrowed Tk. 5 thousand from 
Grameen Bank. She bought two cows with the money. After some years the cows died from 
a disease. Then she fell behind in her repayments to Grameen bank. Then she started to 
sell of household items and then whatever little jewelry she owned. Barua knew about this 
but never had the heart to tell me; he would not take a penny without earning it. Substantial 
part of whatever salary I paid to him went to repayments. This went on over many years. 
Then finally he had nothing more to sell and make the salary he got was not enough and that 
is when he told me. He was having to sell his house now. It transpired that he had paid the 
Grameen Bank more than Tk. 25,000 and still owed Tk 15,000.1 paid that money and his 
house; his repentance for such a foolish action hurts me in the heart. 

I have never had anything to do with Grameen Bank so I do not know a thing about their 
operations. I should think it was morally obligation on their part to warn borrowers and 
educate them on the many pitfalls. These are highly educated people with economics and 
financial wizadry at their finger tips; they must have known about these pitfalls. They should 
also must have known that a few thousands of taka is not the answer. 

The primary requirement is opportunity of activities that generate sustained incomes. 



76 I 92 P a g e 



MY ANGST 

Non- interference in otiier countries' affairs applies to all but America. The world is her affair 
and she has the right to defend her interests anywhere and any part of the world! 

When China reaches out to foreign countries like in Africa, Middle-east & Latin America they 
are robbing these countries of natural resources. But when America does so, it is liberating 
those countries. 

When the whites went around Africa, India and Australia shooting and killing tigers, lions. 
Rhinos, elephants, wolves, etc. etc. that was sport. When natives kill them for food or money 
to survive it is cruelty to animals. 

When the western countries install surveillance equipment in every nook and corner of their 
land and monitor every body's telephone call, emails, letters, etc. etc. that is protecting the 
citizens. When China does one-tenth of such surveillance it is spying on private lives and 
violation of liberty. 

Corruption by individuals, companies or officials in China is the fault of the single-party 
system. The same in western countries is the fault of those individuals, companies and 
officials. 

The borders of the countries in Europe have been shaped by hundreds of years of wars and 
strife. A remnant still remains in Ireland between the catholic and protestant Christians. Such 
wars and strife are understandable to them (recall Narcissus). These western countries, at 
the end of their colonization era, divided Africa into countries on the basis of latitudes and 
longitudes (irrespective of difference in races, tribes, etc. etc.) and cannot understand why 
they cannot live along peacefully with between them. They are, after all, all blacks. 

When nuclear power is in the hands of Iran or North Korea it is in the WRONG hands. Which 
are the RIGHT hands? Israel, having nuclear arms, is now threatening to attack Iran; would it 
do so if Iran was nuclear armed? Bottom line; which country has dropped the atom bomb, 
killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent lives (men, women & children) and 
still suffering from after effects? 

Climate was never an issue till the western countries started to loose out on international 
trade to China, India, South Korea, Brazil, etc. These latter countries have to burn fossil fuel 
to drive their industries. So comes the climate warming issue. China and India must not be 
allowed to release so much carbon to the atmosphere. So why not impose quotas for each 
country; but with an option to buy the quotas from smaller developing countries. What cheek! 

When thousands upon thousands of people died, and are still dying, in Africa from starvation 
caused by crop failures because of the drought the western conscience is not aroused. Few 
civilians are killed in civil conflicts (Libya, Syria and others before) the western conscience is 
aroused. When Myanmar refused to accept foreign aid after Nargis some western countries 
even threatened to take the Myanmar government to the international court for violation of 
human rights. 

In colonial times the western people went around their colonies teaching western manners. 
You do not "TELL" somebody; you say "IF I WERE YOU". Now the moment you switch on 
the TV some western politician or official is "TELLING" other countries what is right and what 
is wrong, what they can do or what they cannot do, etc., etc. Then there is the beautiful face 



77 I 92 P a g e 



of Hillary Clinton witli sweet and articulate voicetelling anybody and everybody what to do 
and what not to do. 

US companies oblige their local agents to sign a document titled "Ethical Practices". By this 
the agent is forbidden to gift even a pen to the customer; it would be seen as a bribe. 
American government lobbies with other countries for big businesses (aircraft, arms, etc) by 
carrot and stick policy; when presidential candidates fills its coffers with money donated by 
the rich and mighty (individuals, corporations, interest groups). If this is not bribe then the 
crows are white. 



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MY EARTH 

Whilst browsing tine internet I came upon an article titled "LARRAKIA CULTURE" written by 
Raylene Singh who is the senior Larrakia Elder. Larrakia are the traditional Aboriginal people 
of Darwin, Australia. 

He wrote "I am strong in my culture - the way I was taught by my mother and by my father 
and my grandfather and grandmother. We Traditional Owners know this land and know how 
to look after it and we know what our Country wants; and everything that lives here - our 
people, the fish, the birds, the animals, insects, plants and landscape have to be looked 
after". 

To the traditional Aboriginal people the land gave everything they needed and they 
respected (worshipped) the landthey cared and looked after it. 

The earth gives us everythingthat we need but do we care look after it? On the contrary, we 
are exploiting every conceivable resources of the earth with gay abandonment. Vast tracts of 
forest have disappeared, rivers, lakes and other water bodies are dead (filled with toxics), 
landscapes have been mutilated by digging for coal and minerals, etc., etc.. 

Traditional wisdom and values have been abandoned and replaced by knowledge in 
sciences, technology, economy, financial wizardry, business, etc., etc. There is no question 
that knowledge is the engine that drives our civilizations. But, like engines need to be 
controlled by proven control systems, knowledge has to be tempered by wisdom. 

Today we live under the ever present threat of climate warming; a situation whereby the 
entire face of the earth will likely be changed forever. Can we, in Bangladesh, dare to 
imagine a drought, as is occurring in parts of Africa, to occur in our country. Can we 
conceive of the consequences? The land would dry up and crop production drastically 
decreased (up to what extent is anybody's guess), rivers would dry up. We must bear in 
mind that we are a population of over 180 million people living off 55,000 sq. miles only! 
What would be the cost of importing food on so large a scale. 

We claim today to be a modern civilized world. But are we really civilized? How can civilized 
peoples kill "The Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs"! 



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OF BEING NOT FAIR AND HONEST 
AND THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR IT 

I drive a Honda Accord, a car for the rich. 

Each time I sit in the car I silently ask forgiveness of my fellow countrymen; this is only for 
business purpose. Is there logic in my humility? No. I am as guilty as others who drive 
expensive cars; every person has a reason. 

So I speak here as a confessed hypocrite. 

Rich people live in Dhaka live in Dhanmondi Residential Area, Banani Residential Area, 
Gulshan Residential Area, Baridhara Residential Area (initially meant for foreign missions), 
Uttara Town and other lesser housing estates. In these areas in most cases couples, only 
two parents because the children are all abroad, are living in over two thousand five hundred 
square feet apartments. They usually have two seating rooms furnished with expensive 
imported furniture, but all covered for there is no one to seat in them. The whole house is 
centrally air-conditioned; centrally for two persons! Oh yes! I forget; three or four bedrooms 
with attached bathrooms all furnished with imported fittings. 

Ever think of a mid-income family who has to share a one thousand to one thousand square 
feet house with two or three children with two bathrooms? 

Ever think of those, in the lower middle income group, who share a one thousand square 
feet apartment withtwo or three children with one bathroom? 

Forget the poor workers who live in one-two room apartments sharing between a dozen one 
bathroom? 

People living in shanties? Forget them. They deserve it. 

Street children? They should never be there in the first place! 

Rich people decry the corruption in our society forgetting that the same corruption mad them 
rich. 

How many Bengalis were rich in 1971; these can be counted on the finger-tips: the land 
holders and some traditional tradesmen (not industrialists). 

So it is those that were at the bottom of the wealth ladder in 1971 who are your 
parliamentarians. Every rich person decries the low level of our politicians. What have you 
done to avoid this situation? Every educated person is a fan of multi-part democracy and 
blame the politicians. Why do you think you deserve better. 

Remember the old adage: the people get what they deserve. The whole country is getting 
what it deserves. 

I can only say that one deserves what he gives to others. 



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PARADOX OF AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDY 

Subsidy paid to agriculture keeps tine prices witinin reach of poor people; so it is good! 

RIGHT? 

WRONG! 

Let us analyze the effects of agricultural subsidy for from keeping food prices down. 

Every country practices giving subsidy to agriculture. Whist poor countries can come up with 
meager amounts the richer nations pays astronomical amounts. 

Euro-Zone: Up to Euro 57 billion total with Euro 39 billion as direct subsidy per annum. 
USA: Up to US$ 20 billion as direct subsidy per annum. 

The GDP of Euro-zone and USA are US$ 16.22 trillion and US$ 15.72 trillion respectively. 
So the subsidies in terms of percentage of GDP are: 

Euro-zone: 
USA: 

The world's total food production is estimated at US$ 1 trillion. So the subsidies in terms of 
percentage of world's food production are; 

Euro-zone: 7.5 
USA: 2.1 

Euro-zone and USA exports are US$ 175 billion and US$ 44 billion. So in terms of 
percentage of the subsidies to exports are: 

Euro-zone: 
USA: 

Now let us see how these subsidized low prices are affecting the economies of developing, 
Bangladesh included, of the world. 

These countries are obliged to keep their production prices as best as possible or else their 
countries would be flooded by food imported from Euro-zone and USA. Here I will restrict 
myself to the effect on Bangladesh. 

The subsidy given to agriculture by way of subsidized prices of electricity and fertilizer is no 
where near the subsidy received by farmers in Euro-zone and USA as a percentage of their 
production cost. The meager profit the farmers make of their hard labour is barely enough to 
feed and clothe them; keeping them in perpetual poverty and vulnerable to loan sharks. 

I do not have the figures but I would presume that the export prices of food by euro-zone and 
USA would be twice the present prices. If any reader has an accurate figure then I will stand 
corrected. In that event our farmers could be able to sell at twice the present prices . Even 
without the subsidy from the government the farmers would be able to earn a fair profit and 
gradually lift themselves from perpetual poverty. 



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Now the government in power will ask: how can poor people afford to buy food? One should 
bear in mind that 65% of our population live in rural areas and earn their living from 
agriculture and up to 25% can be categorized in the middle-income and rich group. That 
leaves 1 0% of the population who would not be able to buy food at today's wage levels. This 
can be rectified by increasing the wage levels to appropriate levels. That would require the 
Bangladesh Bank to print more money and put into circulation in the country. That, of 
course, will mean devaluation of Taka against other currencies but that would be a boost to 
our exports. 

The crying need of the day is for the rich nations, particularly Euro-zone and USA to stop 
subsidizing agriculture. This ought to be atop priority in our foreign affairs. 

An ordinary labour rate in USA is US$ 8 per hour. For the same job the rate is Tk 40 (US$ 
0.50)1 Where lies the fault; we should analyze and correct it. 



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PERPETUAL POVERTY IN BANGLADESH 



First let us have a look what the statistics say. 

LAND FOR AGRICULTURE 

Population: 160 millions 

Total area : 143,998 square kilometers 

Land mass : 90.4 % = 130,174 sq. km. 

Water mass : 9.6% = 1 3,824 sq. km. 

Forest area : 6.7% of land mass = 8,722 sq. km. 

Agricultural area : 69.5% of land mass = 90,471 sq. km 

Arable area : 88.1 % of agricultural area = 79,705 sq. km. 

Rice production: 25 million tons (@ 6 tons per hectare) 

Assumption: 

• Farming families: 20 million (60% Of population and 5 members per family) 

That will calculate one farming family, at an average, owning 0.40 hectares and, at the rate 
of 6 tons per hectare, the family produces 2400 kilograms per annum. To keep the price 
down the government buys from farmers at Tk. 25 per kilogram. That means to family's 
earnings per annum is Tk.60,000 per annum. Now deduct the expenses for seeds, 
electricity, fertilizer, insecticides, feeds for the cows, etc., the family has hardly Tk30,000 per 
annum. This is far below the average earnings of the wage earners and laborers. Unless a 
miracle occurs the poor farmer is condemned to perpetual poverty. 

Now consider the banquets in parties, parties for guests and friends and the rich food the 
rich enjoy from the rice the poor farmer has produced. If this is not class oppression then the 
sun rises from the west. 

Now, why should this situation be allowed to continue or, are we like the ostrich hiding its 
head in the sand. 

Something has to be done to take these poor farmers out of their poverty. Hordes of them 
flock to the towns and cities only to become a degraded class of people; inferior human 
beings. He sweats driving a rickshaw; he is nameless and inhuman. People who wish to hire 
for a ride do not address him as to a person, not even a rickshaw puller, he is called 
"OIHKHAALI". Would any person with dignity do this? NO. But where is dignity in 
Bangladesh! It is oft and interred with the bones of our forefathers. 

Industrialization and hospitality business is definitely not the answer. Without energy and raw 
materials resources there can be only so many industries and businesses. 

Is the country's planners, economists and financial experts cannot find a solution then they 
are better of taking a long leave from the country or, is it that they never looked at the 
statistics and facts? Then they have been grossly negligent and owe an apology to the poor 
farmers and to the country. 

Yet we celebrate independence day and burst with pride (actually it is ego) in talking about 
the sovereignty of the country. Whose country and whose sovereignty are they celebrating 
and shouting! Definitely not the poor farmer the country has condemned to perpetual 
poverty. We shake with anger and call the speaker a racialist when told that Bengali's lack 
dignity. Well are those farmers not Bengalis? 

83 I 92 P a g e 



ANIMA- AN ALTERNATIVE PATH 

Anima is a dark complexioned girl born to poor family who lives off the little piece of land that 
the land. Father, when he is not working on the land, works as a labourer. 

Scene 1 : Anima is suckling from her mother. 

Scene 2: Anima is toddling; her eyes sparkling with innocence. 

Scene 3: Anima, now two years old, is in market with father. She sees grown men and 

children taking sweets from vendors, so reaches out with her tiny hands to 
grab a handful but is immediately stopped by father. She tries again at the 
next stall and the vendor hits her hand with a stick. Her father reacts 
immediately and starts a quarrel with the vendor. Finally after much shouting 
from both men the vendor hands one sweet. 

Scene 4: Anima is now five. She sees children of her age playing in the neighboring 

house belonging to a rich neighbour. She is immediately scolded and chased 
out but she does not leave without them a piece of her mouth. She then sees 
some children ill dressed as herself playing in the field, she plays with them. 

Scene 5: Anima is now six. The rich neighbour with two people come to the house, 

pulls her father out of the house. They first scold her father, shouting that his 
cow had broken their fence and eaten much of their family vegetable garden. 
They then beat up her father' but her father fights back. He is bruied and 
indignant but not cowed. 

Scene 6: Anima is now seven. She is in the village market with her father. She 

accidentally bumps into a man drops the pitcher of curd he is carrying. The 
man, sternly looking, slaps her on her cheek. When her father protests, he 
hits her father but her father fights back. Bystanders separate them. 

another time the wife of the rich neighbour comes and scolds and beats her 
mother saying that her chicken had broken a pitcher in their house. Anima's 
mother fights back. When the other woman leaves she goes up to the gate of 
their fence and shouts abuses. Anima watches in anger; her spirits burning. 

Scene 7: Anima is now eight. Anima observes little girls like herself all dressed alike, 

going to school. Anima wonders what school is; she would rather play with 
her friends. Whe often gets into fights with boys. She is no coward nor loser. 

Scene 8: Anima is now ten. She is working in the house because her mother had gone 

to work as a help at a rich neighbour's house. She is sweating and wiping her 
brows. She is struggling with the fire and the smoke. 

Scene 9: Anima is now fourteen and is getting married to a man of twenty four from the 

next village. He looks rather weak and fragile. 

Scene 10: Anima and her husband are in their new house, built from mud and roofed 
with hay. They even have a small compound in front and at the back. They 

84 I 92 P a g e 



are happy. Husband works as a farm hand to a rich landlord of the next 
village. Amina struggles with the household chores. 

Scene 11: After some months anima finds that her husband is good for nothing. He 
drinks, now and then, and comes home drunk. He can't provide enough for 
them to eat. They often quarrel with anima dominating. 

Scene 12: Anima is sixteen. Anima has had enough of her husband and throws him out 
of the house. The husband, after lingering for sometime in the village trying to 
get back the house, leaves for the city. 

Scene 13: often village youths are seen entering anima's house in the evenings. Anima 
seems to be doing financially well enough to feed and buy clothes. 

Scene 14: Anima is seventeen. A son is born to her. She tells to every one of her nightly 
visitors that he is the father of the boy and threatens to dump the child in his 
house if he does not care for the child. The nightly visitors are embarrased 
and cowed and give anima what she asks. Anima eats and wares well. 

Scene 15: Anima is twenty two. By now she has given birth to four healthy sons. They 
are growing up fast and she has her nightly visitors giving her more. 

Scene 16: Anima is thirty. Her sons are growing up fast. The eldest is now thirteen and 
the youngest nine. Anima encourages them to steal. The boys are self- 
confident and do their job well. 

Scene 17: Anima is thirty two. Her eldest son has been arrested by the police and is in 
police custody. Anima has her nightly visitors to speak to the 0/C of the thana 
but to no avail. 

Anima herself goes and meets the second officer and the oc. Strangely 
enough the boy is released. There is gossip in the village that Amina slept 
with the 0/C. This is being borne out by the 0/C visiting anima's house on 
more than one occasion. Anima is a formidable person now in the village. Her 
nightly visitors start to decrease and cease altogether. Her sons provide for 
the family by hook or by crook. 

Scene 18: Anima is forty eight. Her sons are now grown men. They have stayed 
together and gathered many young vagabonds like themselves. The eldest 
becomes the leader of the gang. They resort to extortion and bullying. 

Scene 19: Anima is fifty five. She observes that the powerful man of their village has 
enmity with the powerful man of the neighbouring village. She pays a visit to 
this powerful man of the neighbouring village and pledges her support in his 
quarrel with the other powerful man. Anima's sons are now supporters and 
confidants of the powerful man of the neighbouring village. In the next two 
years this powerful man defeats the powerful man of Anima's village. The 
powerful man of the neighbouring village gives credit to anima's son and her. 
Now she is the most powerful person in her village. 

Scene 20: Anima is sixty. Her sons had already torn down their mud hut and built a 
concrete house in its stead. Two of the elder boys are married and have a 
son and a daughter each. Anima, now dressed like a lady, is cuddling her 
grandchildren. She is happy and thanks God. 



85 I 92 P a g e 



POLITICS IN BANGLADESH 

One of my friends suggested that I write on the political situation in Bangladesh; stating "WE 
NEED TO CHANGE THE CONFRONTATIONAL POLITICAL CULTURE". 

I will try, in my limited capacity, to make a humble attempt to answer my friend. 

The French political thinker and historian, best known for his book "Democracy in America", 
noted that "people get the Government they deserve". I am in full agreement to this and the 
basis of my writing will be formulated by this adage. To those that do not agree with this 
adage I suggest to discontinue reading this article. 

So let us take a look at the people of Bangladesh. I will not be very wrong if I say that 85% of 
the population is Muslims, 10% Hindus and balance 5% Christians, Buddhists and Animists. 

Remnants of a civilization in Bengal date back 4000 years (to 2000BC) when the region was 
settled by Dravidians and Austro-Asiatic people. Very little about them is known. 

The Aryans came from the west to this region 700BC through the invasions by the Maghada 
kingdom. This was followed by the Maurya and Gupta dynasties till 750AD. These were 
Aryans who brought with them their Hindu religion. During this period, the original people of 
Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic stock were massacred in countless numbers. But it is probable 
they could not terminate them totally, simply because of their numbers of the original people, 
like they did to the Dravidians in the Indus-Valley region from 1500BC to 700BC. The original 
people were degraded to the lowest social status. In 750AD the Palas of Bengal, who were 
from the original stock, overthrew the Hindu rulers and ruled the region till 1174. During this 
period the people of the original stock embraced Buddhism. The remains in Paharpur and 
Mainamati bears evidence to the Buddhist civilization during this period. The Palas were 
overthrown by the Senas in 1174 who built up the Hindu Sena dynasty. The Senas were 
Brahma-Kshatriyas and being fanatical Hindus oppressed the Buddhist population and 
degraded them again to the bottom end of the social structure. The Senas were overthrown 
by Bakgtiyar Khiiji in 1203. Bakhtiyar Khiiji was a slave-turned military general of Turkic 
origin. It was not till 1260 that Turk & Afghan rulers of Northern India established a Muslim 
rule in Bengal. The Mughals ruled from 1576 to 1717 followed by the Nawabs of Turkic origin 
from 1717 to 1765 when the British conquered Bengal. 

A glimpse into the anthropology suggests that racial mixing between the conquering Aryans 
from 700BC till 750AD, when the region was ruled by Aryan Hindus. The fact that before and 
after partition of India the Muslim population was far higher than the Hindu population it 
would suggest that around 750AD the Buddhist population in the region would also must 
have been much higher than the Aryans; for it is this population that formed the majority of 
the Muslims at the time of partition. There would have been mix with the Aryan Muslims 
during the period from 1260 to 1765 but that would be in a limited scale; geography would 
have been a limiting factor. 

I will leave it up to the reader to figure out for himself what the Bengali stock is; is it Dravidian 
stock with Aryan mix or is it Aryan stock with Dravidian mix. 

Whatever be the case the period from 700BC till 1971, when the region was ruled by 
foreigners (accepting the Pala rule 750AD to 1174AD) the people were always oppressed. 
This oppression would explain the higher primitive intelligence and cunningness of the 
Bengali people; these traits were needed to survive centuries of oppression. 



86 I 92 P a g e 



It is this primitive intelligence and cunningness then that we have to consider in our answer 
for a good politics in Bangladesh. 

Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries with the least literacy rate (135"^) in the world. 
Yet you go and talk to the factory worker, the farm worker, the rickshaw puller, the 
automobile drivers, labourers, et el, you will find they have an opinion on politics. Without 
any knowledge in the affairs of running a government they still have opinions. Some would 
even bravo them for their interest and participation. Take a closer look; the opinions are 
divided into two camps. All they are doing is making alliances for their own survival and 
profit; the same that they had to do over the thousands of years before. Everyone wants a 
piece of the cake; some for survival and others for enrichment. 

Now let us come to the system of government that we have; it is called multi-party 
democracy. In an earlier article I have shown that Democracy in its true spirit is practicable 
only for a small egalitarian community where everybody knows everybody else and all take 
part in deciding the affairs of the community. What we have today is only an approximation 
to Democracy (I would refer you to my article "Approximation to Democracy") and a lot of the 
spirit and substance in the approximation. Anyway I will use the term "Democracy" in the 
conventional sense. The multi-party democracy connotes that the voters get a choice 
between ideologies; prior to the break-down of USSR the choice was between socialism and 
capitalism. Since the collapse of USSR it is generally believed to be true that socialism is no 
longer a viable option. So we are all voting for the same system but to different sets of 
people. What are the credentials that these people who wish to govern make known to the 
people; very simply put CHEAP POPULARITY. 

Elections are won or lost to by the 300 members who are selected to represent a certain 
party; or through alliances of parties. On the other hand the majority of the voters are already 
looking for alliances with more powerful elements of the society who can manage for them a 
share of the loot of country if he is elected. Neither of the opposing parties has any 
compulsion to be civil to each other; for it might be interpreted by the voters allied to any 
particular party as a sign of weakness. 

The root of the problem here is that members elected to the parliament are able to payback 
in cash and kind to those voters who aligned to him. He is given executive and such other 
powers by his government that he literally rules his constituency. THIS MUST BE 
STOPPED. 

The system should not give the parliament member any authority, executive or otherwise, to 
interfere with the administration of his constituency. 

According to Bangladesh constitution a parliament member is required to perform the 
following functions: 

1 . Enactment of Legislation 

2. Consent to Taxation and Control of Public Expenditure 

3. Ensuring Accountability of the Government. 

Just as an academic interest we may compare the above with those written in the Indian 
constitution: 

1 . Controlling the Executive 

2. Law Making 

3. Controlling the Finance 

87 I 92 P a g e 



4. Raising Deliberations 

5. Constituent Functions 

6. Electoral Functions 

7. Judicial Functions 

It goes without saying a member of tine parliament has to be fully conversant in law, finance 
and management to discharge his functions. Now tell me how many of the parliament 
members in Bangladesh actually qualify to discharge the functions he is elected for. 

So what is left of the ideal democracy we are approximating in our present democracy; its 
import and spirit? Nothing is left but the word "representation". What we have is simple "Mob 
Rule". 

So I must disappoint my friend. 

Confrontational politics is embedded into the multi-party democracy. 

If my friend is interested I might explore if this is possible in a single-party system. 



88 I 92 P a g e 



SUBSIDY, BANK LOAN & INSURANCE TO FARMERS 

Government is providing power and fertilizer farmers at a managed low price. This means 
government is subsidizing the farmers; right? WRONG. The subsidy enables the farmers to 
grow at a lesser cost than if the price of power and fertilizer had been at the national levels. 
But this subsidy is passed on to the consumers who are the real benefactors. So if you 
grudge against these subsidized prices of power and fertilizer to farmers, think again. The 
cost of the food on your table would have been otherwise higher. 

Banks are freely financing industries. Banks provide loans up to seventy percent of the 
project cost against the land, building and machinery being pledged to the bank as collateral. 
For farmers who own land and till their own land the bank can provide loan against the land 
as collateral. For farmers who till others' land on share-cropping the crops can be pledged to 
the bank as collateral. Whilst industrial loans are on long term basis these farmers loans can 
be on seasonal term basis. This will free the farmers from taking loans from loan sharks, or 
from businesses that provide loan on crops being pledged at low prices. This will cut out 
many middlemen and the consumer will get a fair price. 

Crop production is vulnerable to nature. Draught or floods may affect the output; so also 
pests and other natural causes. The prime need of the hour is for the government to provide 
insurance to the farmers. Needless to say, this involves a huge amount of data to be 
gathered and stored in servers. However, today's IT can be employed at low costs and 
manageable man-power. 

Bear in mind that our farmers produce around 25 million tons of rice; apart from other crops 
and vegetables. If Bangladesh had to import all this rice the cost would be around US$ 13 
billionl 



89 I 92 P a g e 



Mr. TONY & Mr. BACTERIA 

MR. TONY OF CHAUNATI 

Take the village "Tony". He has no land, no business but still he maintains a family, a house 
and is financially fairly well off. Now, how is it possible for a person with no visible means of 
earning to show the income that he earns? 

Our Tony uses his primitive intelligence (intuition) and cunningness. His strategy is to 
explore possibilities of making some money where no person of any other race would find. 
He discovers that two brothers, who owned substantial high acreage of land and were 
financially strong, were having a quarrel over a piece of land over inheritance. Our Tony 
goes to the area and listens to the village gossip in the village tea stall. He takes note of the 
people who spoke knowingly about the affair and approaches them for more inside 
knowledge of the brothers and their quarrel. "Here is an opportunity" he murmurs to himself. 
Next he goes to the houses of the quarrelling brothers and makes small talk with the 
inmates. He assesses which of the brothers is stronger or had a better chance of winning the 
contest for the piece of land. Having made his assessment he goes to brother A, who our 
Tony will lose, and try to befriend him. From past experience he had acquired some 
knowledge of the land administration and laws; this he uses to entice brother A to speak ill of 
brother B threatening to go to the court. Next our Tony goes to brother B who, according to 
our Tony's assessment, is likely to win, and denounces brother A for quarrelling with brother 
Band confides in brother B that brother A is thinking of going to the court. Over the coming 
days our Tony has already befriended brother B and gained his confidence. He gradually 
entices brother B to go to the court, swearing that he will give evidence in brother B's favour. 
Next he calls on some poor neighbors and tells that they could earn some money by simply 
giving evidence in the court. He then takes these people to brother B and makes them swear 
that they will give evidence as told. There is, of course, a little thing about paying these 
people and also our Tony who has devoted all his time these few days (or weeks). Brother B 
gladly parts with some money (not large) and thanks our Tony. Now the contract between 
brother B and our Tony is sealed. 

Brother B sues brother A in the court in a civil case. So the case gets started and keeps on 
going on, and on. All this while our Tony is at the side of brother B' assisting him in any 
possible way and also, due to his knowledge of court cases, advises him. Brother B is only 
too happy to part with money as and when asked for by Tony. The case goes on for years - 
judgements, appeals, adjournments, hearing postponements, et al- until the brothers run dry 
of their funds. All the while our Tony has been milking money from brother B and has made 
a handsome amount. 

When the case finally comes to a close the two brothers are totally broke, having spent all 
the money and even selling their land to run the case. The piece of land is no solace to 
either brother. 

But our Tony, by simply applying intuition and cunningness, has made his earnings and 
starts looking for the next victim or opportunity. 

MR. BACTERIA OF TEKNAF 

Choudhury came from a family who owned lots of land. He can recollect up to four 
generations before him when the family owned tens of thousands of acres. The land was 
administered by the descendents through the eldest son directly descending in the family 
tree. So the other members of the family did not have to work to earn a living. At the end of 

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every harvest season they received their share of the crop in kind or in cash. This continued 
for three generations. During this period most of the family embers left after selling their 
share of the land. By the time Choudhury was 34 or 35 only few families, out of the family 
tree, remained and the person administering the land decided that each family should run his 
own land. Now, Choudhury had never learnt to earn a living and actually did not know the 
value of money. He did not know where his lands were; as they were scattered. He had 
never been to the land office and never looked at the mouza map. He managed to locate 
some portions of his land and started to sell them. By the time he was 45 Choudhury had 
sold of all of the land that he knew of. As was customary from his fore fathers time 
Choudhury must have his share of do-chuani (wine). 

Our Bacteria lived in a village near which Choudhury owned some land being tilled by his 
proza. Our Bacteria is poor and illiterate and has no land with very little money. He worked 
as a labourer. Bacteria goes to meet Choudhury when the latter was drunk. Bacteria carries 
Choudhury to his house and leaves him there. Next morning Bacteria is in Choudhury's 
house enquiring about his health. Bacteria does not leave the house but, instead, starts 
cleaning some parts of the uncared for area. Choudhury, never having known wanting 
before, offers lunch to Bacteria. In the evening Bacteria accompanies Choudhury to the 
latter's drinking place and, like the evening before, carries Choudhury back to his house. 
This continues for over w a week when Bacteria returns to his own house. He manages to 
borrow some money and comes back to Choudhury after a lapse of two weeks. Now he tells 
Choudhury, with surprise written all over his face that he lived in the village where 
Choudhury owned so much land. He insists on honouring Choudhury by buying a chicken for 
his meal. Like before he accompanied Choudhury to the drinking place and carries him back 
to house. This goes on for about a week when our Bacteria returns to his village only to 
return after about a week. This time he is very indignant and, with indignation written all over 
his face, informs that Choudhury's prozza has been cheating Choudhury for years. And 'the 
cheek of it' was talking ill of Choudhury in the village; that Chaudhury was a drunk and good 
for nothing. It was only for deference to Choudhury the Bacteria tells that he did not beat up 
the prozza. So comes the next sowing season and Bacteria had managed to till Choudhury's 
land. Bacteria gives Choudhury a handsome share of the crop. After harvest Bacteria was 
constantly beside Choudhury, meeting every need of Choudhury. Now Chowdhury's 
finances began to falter and he is unable to pay for his drinks. Bacteria steps in saying "Sir, 
your forefathers were our rulers and we your slaves; how can I, a humble slave, stand that 
you cannot drink for money?" Bacteria manages some money to pay for Choudhury's drinks. 
This continues; Bacteria sometimes having to borrow from others. The next season Bacteria 
tills Choudhury's land again and after harvest stays beside Choudhury, often footing the 
drink bills. The at a certain stage he tells Choudhury that he needed a receipt from 
Choudhury for all the amount he had footed for drinks, because he has to show to his wife 
that it was spent for a good cause. Choudhury readily signs an inflated bill. This goes on for 
about ten years. 

One day Bacteria confronts Choudhury with the receipts and asks for payment; by this time 
the amount had become quite high. Choudhury does not have that kind of money so 
Bacteria suggests the land. Now Bacteria is really indignant and threatens Choudhury that 
he will have to go to the thana. Choudhury's family had never, ever, been to the thana as a 
defendant. Now Choudhury wakes up and realizes the situation; but he is handicapped. He 
is scared to death about the shame when everyone will come to know of the tale. He readily 
signs off his land at a throw away price. 

Bacteria never, ever, visited Choudhury after that. 

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF TONYS AND BACTERIAS. 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDIUM OF TEACHING 
IN MOTHER TONGUE 

Language development is crucial for intellectual development. Language plays a vital part in 
the development of the brain, and thereby, mental faculties. Language is by which we 
recognize different compositions of our thoughts. Language is the vehicle by which thoughts 
can be recognized and expressed. "By interacting with its environment, a child develops the 
ability to develop private inner speech. Inner speech is thinking in pure meanings; it is the 
link between the secondary signal system of the social world and the thought of the 
individual. Through the development of inner speech, children straddle the divide between 
thought and language, eventually being able to express their thoughts coherently to others"; 
Barry J. Zimmerman & Dale H. Schunk. 

Think of the brain (mind) as the biggest library where your library card is language. 
Interaction between mental faculties and language starts at the prenatal stage when the 
child is still in its mother's womb. As it grows up and interacts with its environment and 
learns the language of straddling the divide between thought and language. 
Now in our country where over sixty percent of the population live in rural areas the 
environment the child finds itself in is typical Bengal culture and Bengali language (usually in 
dialect form). At a very early age the child has developed its private inner speech which it 
able to express coherently in Bengali. 

By the age of three or four the link between the mental faculties and language is established. 
So it is only natural progression to further its intellect through the medium of Bengali. So it 
follows that when the child enters school the medium of teaching ought to be in Bengali; 
English, Palli and other languages can to taught as second language(s). Palli in fact would 
be a complement. Science and technology is not the sole prerogative of the west. I would 
refer the reader to reader Sri Dharampal's "Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth 
Century" (you can download the pdf version of the book here: Indian Science and 
Technology - Dharampal) 

It's only then, when the medium of teaching is in Bengali language, does a Bengali realize 
his mental faculties to the full. 

However, since Bengali language is limited to Bengal, access to developments in sciences 
and technologies by foreign countries is extremely limited. We cannot progress unless we 
cannot have such access. 

The following two steps seem to be in order; 

1 . Teaching English from schools as second language. 

2. Translating all relevant books, magazines, etc. available in English (and also some 
other languages) into Bengali. This is a herculean task but achievable. We have 
hundreds of doctorates, and many instances double doctorates, who are fluent, both 
written and speech, in both Bengali and English. Their expertise would be better 
utilized in translating for this purpose. 

I am absolutely sure there are many latent scientists amongst the population whose 
deficiency in English language has held them back to contributing to progress of our country. 
Availability of scientific books to the masses would accelerate the technological 
advancement of the whole country. 

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